‘Jeopardy’ EP Michael Davies Speaks on Show Broadening Subjects: ‘We’re Trying to Test Excellence’

by Shelby Scott
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With Mattea Roach’s historic winning streak at an end and “Jeopardy!” on the hunt for its next super champ, game show executives are speaking out on how the show is changing and developing. And, most recently, executive producer, Michael Davies, has shared how the show is broadening its subjects, with “Jeopardy!” intended to “test excellence.”

There’s no doubt the latest season of “Jeopardy!” has been a memorable one. Following the death of iconic host Alex Trebek nearly two years ago, the hit game show ran into a slew of hosting troubles. After holding a series of hosting auditions, “Jeopardy!” showrunners instead settled on former executive producer Mike Richards. However, his reign was short as recordings of Richards making insensitive remarks surfaced.

Since then, the game show has been alternating hosts, employing both all-time “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings and actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik. Still, our current hosts continue to face backlash. Nevertheless, EP Michael Davies has identified a way to keep the show engaging.

“We’re trying to test excellence,” the “Jeopardy!” EP said. “We don’t want it to be for people who know trivia.”

Instead, the AP reports he aims for “Jeopardy!” to celebrate learned individuals, people who appreciate knowledge and learning in itself. Broadening the subjects “test people on how much they really know. We want it to be for people who spend a lifetime reading books, acquiring knowledge.”

Overall, Davies revealed that he, along with the rest of “Jeopardy!’s” executives, “celebrate facts” and “people who know things.”

Host Ken Jennings Stepping Away From ‘Jeopardy!’ ‘for a Few Months’

Aside from the subject of “Jeopardy!” subjects, host Kenn Jennings recently announced, amid super-champ Mattea Roach’s departure, that he plans to step away from the game show for a few months. His announcement came in a Twitter thread after congratulating Roach on her historic 23-game win.

“I’m handing the keys back to the talented actor-producer-writer-director [Mayim Bialik] for a few months,” Jennings wrote. He continued, “We are lucky to have her! Thanks for watching, and I’ll be back before the end of the season.”

While many “Jeopardy!” fans were relieved to know the all-time super-champ’s absence would only be temporary, plenty of others aired their grievances deeper in the thread.

“A few months?!” one fan exclaimed. “That’s a long time without the true host.” Plenty of “Jeopardy!” fans have dwelled on this subject as many believe Alex Trebek intended for Jennings to take over his position following his death.

Another distraught fan commented, “Hopefully [he’ll return] permanently. Come on [Jeopardy!], just give him the job already.”

Other game show fans were a little softer in their responses.

“Ken, you’re an awesome host with not only natural skill but also the ability to command the respect of viewers and players. Show is better with you hosting.”

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