'Jeopardy!' executive producer is thinking of adding a major rule change

"It's a moment in the studio; it's a great thing," Mike Davies said.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Friday, September 23, 2022
'Jeopardy!' considering major rule change
The contestant would have to run through an entire category without jumping around the board.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- "Jeopardy!'s" executive producer is considering a major format change to the long-running game show.

Mike Davies wants to offer cash bonuses to contestants who correctly answer an entire column of clues under one topic.

The contestant would have to run through an entire category without jumping around the board.

Davies first brought up the idea during the "Inside Jeopardy!" podcast last week.

"One thing I noticed last season is there is a real moment in the studio when a contestant runs a category. We saw it a lot more with our super champions this last season. I know that Amy (Schneider) ran categories. Ryan Long was particularly good at running categories," Davies said. "When a contestant runs a category, there's an applause break in the studio, and yet there's no sound effect. There's no money that changes hands. There's nothing that happens.

"And I don't know if I want to affect scoring in the game, but I do think it would be appropriate maybe to try out at some point - maybe in a high school tournament, which we're talking about doing, maybe in college - maybe an additional cash bonus for running a category."

Davies brought up the idea again during this week's podcast with show producer Sarah Foss and former champion Buzzy Cohen.

"I have been thinking about trying out, perhaps in one of our other tournament weeks this season, experimenting with the idea of giving out a cash bonus for contestants who run a category," Davies said.

The trio discussed how contestant Luigi de Guzman ran through "The Law" category in Double Jeopardy during a recent show (not surprisingly, he's an attorney).

"It's a moment in the studio; it's a great thing," Davies said.

Cohen brought up the Twitter response to Davies' comments last week - "Twitter exploded with pros and cons."

Cohen said he thinks people like the idea of a bonus, but wanted to confirm if it would affect a contestant's game score total.

Davies assured fans it would be a "separate bonus" and wouldn't change who wins.

"Going home with a little extra prize from 'Jeopardy!' with or without a win," Foss added.

Cohen, still on the fence, pointed out to Davies, "It's going to affect gameplay strategy, and I don't know if that's something you're interested in doing."

Davies replied, "It might also give incentive to people who are trailing against a really big player to try to go into a category and get something out of the game beyond their second or third place prize."

The trio joked maybe the contestant wouldn't get cash but an actual prize - like when "Jeopardy!" used to give out items such as canned tomato soup, or maybe they would get a signed picture of host Ken Jennings.

After hearing those suggestions, Davies said they'd stick to cash.

As for now, however, the rule change is just under consideration.

"Jeopardy!" airs weeknights on this ABC station.