'Jeopardy! Bosses Considering Big Change to How the Show Looks
Jeopardy! producers Michael Davies and Sarah Floss are discussing small tweaks to the show after they spotted a recent Reddit thread suggesting a surprisingly simple but ingenious change. During the Feb. 13 episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, Davies said they are considering changing how clues are displayed for audiences at home. They would put the name of the category above the clue after a contestant calls it, so viewers at home don't have to struggle to remember the full category name.
When a contestant calls a dollar value for the next clue, only the clue comes up onscreen. However, Jeopardy! fans on Reddit suggested that the producers could include the name of the category as well. This would be incredibly helpful to viewers trying to play along, especially if a contestant just calls a shorthand version of the category name. Considering most are now watching Jeopardy! on larger, 16:9 televisions, there should be plenty of space for this onscreen.
"In the era of 16:9 HD television, whether or not we should be putting the categories on screen when our clues appear... Because very often we don't cut back to the wide shot of the board when players select; we don't have time, the game is moving so fast," Davies explained on the podcast, via TV Insider. "Clues pop out; people select them very fast; they often don't say the whole name of the category. They'll just say a dollar value as they're going down the board."
"And even I, who sees the material before the show, who has a grid in front of me, I get lost in terms of what category we are in sometimes," Davies admitted. "And I know that's part of it for the advanced Jeopardy! viewer; they have to remember the categories, remember where they are, and try and figure out where they are on the show."
Davies and Foss specifically brought up the Reddit thread. They "should find some screen real estate and whether we should put the category up every time a clue pops out. What do you all think about that?" Davies said.
Foss suggested that it was a good idea, but noted that it could "take away from the experience" of clues with videos and images. "We're gonna take a look at it, we're having our team dummy up what it would look like... we will then maybe look at testing it in an individual tournament, giving things a run out there in the real world, for the audience to be able to see them," Floss said.
Since Davies took over as full-time Jeopardy! executive producer in April 2022, he has been open to the idea of making small changes to modernize the show without alienating its dedicated audience. In a September 2022 interview with The New York Times, Davies suggested creating a "masters league" to highlight the game's best players and creating more spinoffs. Mayim Bialik will return as host on Feb. 20 for the High School Reunion Tournament, taking over for Ken Jennings.