Jeopardy! executive producer Michael Davies has big plans for the recently announced Masters tournament. He hopes the series will turn into a trivia “Super Bowl” that fans will watch for more than the commercials.
While chatting on the Jan. 16 installment of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, Davies shared that the series will include 10 one-hour primetime ABC shows hosted by Ken Jennings. Each episode will include two separate competitions. And he envisions an NFL style of gameplay.
“We’ve experimented with a few different formats since I’ve joined Jeopardy… but we felt that the true test of our Jeopardy Masters would be to repeatedly face each other,” he said.
“ABC wanted 10 episodes, and they wanted 10 hours,” Davies continued. “And we figured out that over 10 hours, if we did two half-hour games back-to-back, which would give us 20 games, 20 games would be the perfect combination to have all six of our top players play each other in every combination.”
‘Jeopardy Masters’ Will Run on a ‘League-Based System’
Unlike the current series, which puts all the emphasis on cash totals, Masters will work on a “league-based system,” which means contestants will play all 20 games. As they work through the season, they will amass points. And, of course, the most points wins. Davies believes this “will truly unearth who is the Jeopardy master” by leaving fate, luck, and off days out of the equation.
“This is really about wins,” he explained. “And it’s about winning games. And we want to reward winning. There will be some bonus for finishing second, but it’s really about winning games.”
Last week, Jeopardy! execs revealed the first group of competitors. It includes Matt Amodio, Sam Buttrey, Andrew He, James Holzhauer, Mattea Roach, and Amy Schneider. Moving forward, people will qualify for the show in several ways, such as by winning games of the week or by taking home other tournament championships.
The UK-born EP explained that the tournament will be a Jeopardy! “Super Bowl.” Or to him, it will be similar to the English Premier League.
“We are building a Jeopardy pyramid where new players come onto the daily show,” Davies added. “They can qualify through second chance or through winning multiple games as champion; Or perhaps something in between… we are looking at expansion of the post-season that will give you a route into Masters. But there will also be the invitational tournament.”