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"Jeopardy!" Makes Major Tournament of Champions Announcements After Backlash

The franchise has released its programming schedule for the rest of 2024.

Jeopardy! fans can agree that the franchise's TV schedule isn't the easiest to follow. During a regular season, the quiz show airs every weeknight. However, sometimes these episodes coincide with one of Jeopardy's many spin-off tournaments, like Celebrity Jeopardy!, Tournament of Champions (ToC), or the Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament (JIT), which just crowned its very first winner. For many super fans, the plethora of Jeopardy! content is just what the doctor ordered—but some would beg to differ.

Fans are pleading on social media for Jeopardy! to scale back on special tournaments and redirect that energy and attention to the original game, which many believe has fallen by the wayside. And it appears producers have heard their cries.

RELATED: "Jeopardy!" Champ Admits Rival Player Had "Deeply Unfortunate Disadvantage."

On the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, executive producer Michael Davies and producer Sarah Foss revealed major changes to the franchise's forthcoming TV schedule, the first of which is Jeopardy! will only air "original recipe" episodes for the rest of 2024. Of course, that means no ToC this year, Foss noted.

"We have a number of consecutive weeks of original recipe Jeopardy! until we get to the next ToC," Davies confirmed on the episode, which dropped on April 22.

Jeopardy! Season 40 is currently in its early stages and will continue to air through July 2024. Season 41 will begin in its original format soon thereafter, consequently pushing the next season of ToC well into 2025. Davies added that producers haven't received word yet whether Celebrity Jeopardy! has been renewed for the fall.

That said, Masters is returning for its second annual tournament on May 1. The prestige tournament will air on ABC in a primetime slot.

"For the remaining of 2024, when you're watching syndicated Jeopardy!, you are watching regular games," Foss clarified on the podcast.

Davies and Foss' announcement and the subsequent ToC delay come on the heels of online backlash from fans. "Bring back regular jeapardy," one person commented on the Jeopardy! Instagram page.

Meanwhile, another asked: "Can we do more regular people episodes?"

Others shared their unfiltered thoughts under the poster for Jeopardy! Masters. "I'm so sick of tournaments! Just play the game!" said one user, while someone else added: "I like regular Jeopardy!"

"​​Too many tournaments result in seeing the same players over and over again. Would like to more new players," reads a comment.

In addition to the change in scheduling, the producers were quick to point out another exciting change of pace. The first two people to qualify for 2025 ToC are both women, which is already twice the representation from last season. Of the 27 contestants in 2024, there was only one woman.

Actor and Celebrity Jeopardy! winner Lisa Ann Walter will join five-time winner Alison Betts in the next ToC.

"Two females in the ToC so far!" Foss raved on the podcast.

Betts' winning streak caught fans' attention, and she walked away with $121,500, The Sun reports. "Wonderful, great player. Loved watching her compete on the stage," Davies said of Betts.

Fans will have to wait a year to see Walter, Betts, and, hopefully, more women qualifiers square off in the next ToC.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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