In 1983, Merv Griffin brought Wheel of Fortune to prime-time syndication where it did very well. A year later, he decided to do the same with Jeopardy!, a show that had been off-the-air since 1979. Previous host Art Fleming was unavailable, so instead Canadian Alex Trebek was chosen, who had hosted many game shows at that point. Jeopardy! turned out to be a success, and has been paired with Wheel in many markets since. Jeopardy! usually comes in second annually after Wheel in the Nielsen ratings for syndicated shows.
Three contestants are shown an answer, and are required to provide the question. For example, the answer may be "Opened in 1955, this tourist attraction proves it's a small world after all." The correct answer, or "question", would be "What is Disneyland?"
The game is played over three rounds. Each round features six categories of answers. Each category contains an answer worth between $200 to $1000 in the first round, and $400 to $2000 in the second round (named Double Jeopardy.) In Final Jeopardy, there is only one category and answer, and players must wager how much the answer is worth.
A contestant will pick a category and monetary value (e.g. British Prime Ministers for $600), and give Alex the question for the answer. If they are correct, they win the money. However if they are wrong, the money is deducted from their current score.
A player may also uncover a "Daily Double." Here, instead of playing for the stated monetary value, players can wager how much they want to play for. If a player uncovering the Daily Double has less than the top money value on the board or in a negative score, he/she may bet up to that money value ($1000 in first round, $2000 in Double Jeopardy).
All three rounds are played, and the winner is the contestant with the most money at the end of the game. The winning contestant is invited to return to the next show. In the past, if more than one contestant ends the game with identical top scores, those players become co-champions and return on the next show. In 2018, that rule was changed. The players are shown a final category and clue; whoever rings in with the correct response becomes champion. This rule previously applied to tournament play.
The show has featured a number of tournaments, including their annual fetes of the Tournament of Champions, Kids' Week, Celebrity Jeopardy and College Week. During the period of February 14 to 16, 2011, the show's two most successful players--Ken Jennings (winner of 74 straight games) and Brad Rutter (winner of over $3 million in cash) competed against Watson, a computer designed by IBM that is imbued with information gleaned from the Internet and processes that assist it in singling out correct responses from a number of possibilities. The clues, as read by Alex, are delivered to the computer in text form simultaneously, and Watson is kitted out with a device to ring in with the show's signalling device.
2019 presented a very special Tournament. The eighteen most prolific Jeopardy! champions competed in a three--team contest captained by six of the biggest money winners in the show’s history. Each team captain drafts two additional players for their team with one player on the team competing in the first round, another team member plays Double Jeopardy, with the third team member in Final Jeopardy. In January 2020, Jeopardy! staged a Greatest of All Time tournament between their three top money winners--Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. It aired in prime time on ABC.
Alex Trebek passed away on November 8, 2020 of pancreatic cancer. A series of interim hosts will fill in until a permanent replacement is announced. Ken Jennings became the first on the January 11, 2021 show. Trebek's remaining first run shows aired to January 8, 2021, interrupted during Christmas and New Year's weeks with "Best of Alex" shows. Katie Couric, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Bill Whitaker and Mayim Bialik have also been tapped to guest host.
|Season One||September 10, 1984||June 7, 1985||195|
|Season Two||September 9, 1985||June 6, 1986||195|
|Season Three||September 1, 1986||July 17, 1987||230|
|Season Four||September 7, 1987||July 22, 1988||230|
|Season Five||September 5, 1988||July 21, 1989||230|
|Season Six||September 4, 1989||July 20, 1990||230|
|Season Seven||September 3, 1990||July 19, 1991||230|
|Season Eight||September 2, 1991||July 17, 1992||230|
|Season Nine||September 7, 1992||July 23, 1993||230|
|Season Ten||September 6, 1993||July 22, 1994||230|
|Season Eleven||September 5, 1994||July 21, 1995||230|
|Season Twelve||September 4, 1995||July 19, 1996||230|
|Season Thirteen||September 2, 1996||July 18, 1997||230|
|Season Fourteen||September 1, 1997||July 17, 1998||230|
|Season Fifteen||September 7, 1998||July 23, 1999||230|
|Season Sixteen||September 6, 1999||July 21, 2000||230|
|Season Seventeen||September 4, 2000||July 20, 2001||230|
|Season Eighteen||September 3, 2001||July 19, 2002||230|
|Season Nineteen||September 2, 2002||July 18, 2003||230|
|Season Twenty||September 8, 2003||July 23, 2004||230|
|Season Twenty-One||September 6, 2004||July 22, 2005||230|
|Season Twenty-Two||September 12, 2005||July 28, 2006||230|
|Season Twenty-Three||September 11, 2006||July 27, 2007||230|
|Season Twenty-Four||September 10, 2007||July 25, 2008||230|
|Season Twenty-Five||September 8, 2008||July 24, 2009||230|
|Season Twenty-Six||September 14, 2009||July 30, 2010||230|
|Season Twenty-Seven||September 13, 2010||July 29, 2011||230|
|Season Twenty-Eight||September 19, 2011||August 3, 2012||230|
|Season Twenty-Nine||September 17, 2012||August 2, 2013||230|
|Season Thirty||September 16, 2013||August 1, 2014||230|
|Season Thirty-One||September 15, 2014||July 31, 2015||230|
|Season Thirty-Two||September 14, 2015||July 29, 2016||230|
|Season Thirty-Three||September 12, 2016||July 28, 2017||230|
|Season Thirty-Four||September 11, 2017||July 27, 2018||230|
|Season Thirty-Five||September 10, 2018||July 26, 2019||230|
|Season Thirty-Six||September 9, 2019||June 12, 2020||190|
|Season Thirty-Seven||September 14, 2020||July 30, 2021||230|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
- Stations: A list of stations airing the series.
- Tournaments and Events: Information on the various tournaments and events featured on the series
- Stats: A list of statistics and records pertaining to the series
|Episode Collections (Region 1)|
|An Inside Look at America's Favorite Quiz Show||November 8, 2005||purchase||1|
- J! Archive - An archive of Jeopardy! clues by episode
- Jeopardy! Episodes, TV Listings, News, Photos and More at TVGuide.com