"Jeopardy!" Boycott Grows: Why Fans Say They Won't Watch the Show

The game show announced its summer rerun schedule late last month.

Jeopardy! has one of the most loyal fanbases around, with viewers constantly debating the rules, the questions, and who makes the best host. The show has withstood the test of time, which is why so many of us hold steadfast to the tradition of tuning in every night—but that might not be the case this summer. Lately, the game show has frustrated fans and past players, many of whom are now boycotting Jeopardy! over recent production decisions. Read on to find out why viewers say they won't tune in this summer.

RELATED: Jeopardy! Likely to Be Off Air Indefinitely: "They Are Running Out of Time."

Jeopardy! is navigating the writers' and actors' strikes.

writers strike may 2023
Elliott Cowand Jr / Shutterstock

Ongoing strikes in Hollywood have made matters complicated for television, with both the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) on the picket line.

Jeopardy! employs WGA writers, and for several months, it was unclear how the show would continue without writers to draft new material for Season 40 and the Season 39 postseason. However, in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter late last month, producer Sony Pictures TV confirmed that the Tournament of Champions (ToC), which was set to tape in late August and air in September, has been delayed indefinitely.

"Jeopardy! never had any intention of producing a Tournament of Champions for season 39 until the strike is resolved," a spokesperson for the show said in a statement. "Further, no contestants from season 39 have been contacted regarding their availability for any postseason tournaments, including the ToC. The Jeopardy! postseason represents the pinnacle of our competition, and it should feature our strongest players playing our toughest original material."

RELATED: 8 Most Awkward On-Air Jeopardy! Moments.

The ToC is delayed, but regular episodes aren't.

 

Sony's announcement followed statements from several of last season's big winners, who said that they would not be participating in a ToC while the strike was ongoing. But while champs won't be asked to return just yet, producers did say that Jeopardy! will tape new episodes for the syndicated season using recycled questions.

"Our current plan is to go into a holding pattern of sorts, pushing back the season 39 postseason to first produce original episodes featuring the best of our WGA written material," the spokesperson told THR.

And before that, the show has to fill its summer schedule. Ahead of the Season 40 premiere in September, the show is airing reruns, which were outlined in a July 21 post on Jeopardy!'s official Instagram and Twitter pages.

RELATED: More Jeopardy! Champs Announce Plans to Boycott Show.

Viewers say they won't even watch reruns.

jeopardy masters competition
ABC

Fans have made their displeasure about Jeopardy!'s scheduling plans known, and now even summer reruns aren't safe from a boycott.

In response to Jeopardy!'s announcement of summer reruns on Twitter, one fan wrote, "How about not starting production on the new season when both guilds are on strike," attaching a screenshot of scheduled taping dates, with the first date listed as Tuesday, Aug. 15.

Another added, "No writers, no viewers. I won't watch the reruns," while a different commenter stressed that Jeopardy! needs to "pay your writers."

"No more Jeopardy until after the writers strike. I fully support a HUGE pay increase for all involved," another viewer tweeted.

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Producers promise new episodes—but who's hosting?

mayim bialik hosting jeopardy high school reunion tournament
ABC

While Jeopardy! may say it's going to start filming in the next few weeks, it's unclear who'll be behind the podium. It's fair to assume that Mayim Bialik won't agree to host, as she already sat out of the final week of filming to stand in solidarity with the WGA.

Her co-host, Ken Jennings, filled in, but whether or not he'll pick up hosting again remains to be seen. The former Jeopardy! champ has received flak on social media for crossing the picket line during those last few episodes.

Matters are doubly complicated by the SAG-AFTRA strike, because both Bialik and Jennings are members of the guild.

The Sony spokesperson told THR that Jeopardy! and Celebrity Jeopardy! are covered by the SAG-AFTRA Network Code. This agreement runs through next June and covers programs like daytime dramas, variety shows, unscripted series, and game shows. Per this code, SAG-AFTRA members can still participate in these kinds of shows in the fall.

Even so, whether Celebrity Jeopardy! contestants or new competitors will be willing to participate during the strikes—particularly if the episodes include recycled material—remains unclear.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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