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"Jeopardy!" May Soon Be Over for the Rest of the Year—Here's Why

Strikes in Hollywood could create issues for the upcoming 40th season.

Jeopardy! has been a TV mainstay for nearly 60 years, growing quite the fanbase since its daytime debut back in March 1964. As a result, watching the show has become a tradition for many viewers, who tune in on weeknights to test their trivia knowledge while the best of the best face off onscreen. Season 39 is wrapping up on July 28, with the show taking its standard hiatus before picking back up again with the Tournament of Champions in September. But now, devoted fans worry that tradition will be thwarted, and Jeopardy! might not return after the summer break. Read on to find out why there's genuine concern surrounding the show.

RELATED: Jeopardy! Producer Explains "Painful to Watch" Episode Amid Backlash.

Writers went on strike back in May.

wga strike may 2023
Ringo Chiu / Shutterstock

Since May, members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have been on strike, calling for higher wages, protection from the use of artificial intelligence (AI), and improved royalties from streaming services.

As a result of the strike, most shows have been brought to a halt, unable to move forward without writers. However, Jeopardy! questions are written in advance every season, meaning the game show had enough material to carry it through the remainder of Season 39.

But now, with the WGA strike potentially extending into the fall, some Jeopardy! fans are concerned about Season 40.

RELATED: James Holzhauer Criticizes Jeopardy! Changes and Weaker Questions Amid Fan Backlash.

Writers are necessary to draft Jeopardy! clues.

final jeopardy july 2023

As reported by the New York Post, the conversation about scheduling started on Reddit, with one viewer asking if the Jeopardy! Masters competition could potentially be moved up to late fall in light of the WGA strike.

In response, another viewer pointed out that there's a bigger issue at hand: Writers are needed to write the clues. "Where do you think they're going to get questions for Masters without their writers?" they wrote.

Others had grimmer outlooks. "If the strike continues into the fall tv season, there won't be any Jeopardy at all," a Redditor wrote, while another added, "I'd be shocked if we got anymore Jeopardy before the strike ends."

According to the New York Post, Jeopardy! episodes are generally taped two months in advance of airing. Following this schedule, Season 40 would already have to be in production.

Best Life reached out to Jeopardy! for comment, and will update the story upon hearing back.

RELATED: The 10 Most Beloved Jeopardy! Contestants of All Time.

Actors are poised to strike as well.

protester holding sag-aftra sign during WGA strike
rblfmr / Shutterstock

Jeopardy!'s predicament is further complicated by a looming actors' strike. According to The New York Times, the Screen Actors Guild—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the union that represents 160,000 TV and movie actors, could be the next to go on strike.

The outlet reported that an "industrywide shutdown" may start as early as today, as SAG-AFTRA's negotiations with Hollywood studios fell through, and the negotiating board voted unanimously voted for the strike.

"The companies have refused to meaningfully engage on some topics and on others completely stonewalled us," Fran Drescher, president of the union, said in a statement to the NYT. "Until they do negotiate in good faith, we cannot begin to reach a deal."

Drescher, best known for her starring role on The Nanny, added that studio responses to negotiations were "insulting and disrespectful." Per the NYT, the actors are making similar demands to writers in terms of AI, wages, and royalties.

While Jeopardy! contestants typically aren't Hollywood stars—that's reserved for Celebrity Jeopardy!—its two co-hosts, Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings, are well-known public figures and members of SAG-AFTRA.

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Bialik and Jennings could be absent from the show, too.

ken jennings hosting jeopardy

On Reddit, fans expressed their concern about who'll host the game show. "Where are they going to get hosts, with Ken and Mayim both members of SAG-AFTRA, and SAG-AFTRA likely going on strike?" a viewer wrote.

Another added, "If the strike continues into the fall and they try to find a way to continue the show without the writers, I don't think they'll have Ken or Mayim. Bottom line, we have no idea when the show will be back, either in syndication or on ABC."

For her part, Bialik already opted not to host the last week of Jeopardy! this season due to the writers' strike. As a result, Jennings has taken over for the final episodes.

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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