‘Jeopardy!’ Reveals Plans To Expand With Professional League

by Craig Garrett
(Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)

It’s time for fans of Jeopardy! to rejoice! It seems there are plans to expand the franchise with a “masters league.” Now that a new Celebrity Jeopardy! has launched, Executive Producer Michael Davies is considering other offshoot projects. A masters league featuring the show’s top winners is one of the ideas, as well as a spinoff focusing entirely on sports and pop culture knowledge.

“What we really need to develop is the pro-level version of the game,” Davies explained to the New York Times. “It seemed ridiculous to me that we have this sport where every single year we take all of our best players — we take our LeBrons and our Dwyanes — and we switch them all out.” Davies aspires to air the masters league live. “That makes a lot of my staff nervous,” he quipped.

Production is already filming a Second Chance Tournament for promising contestants who didn’t make it far the first time, as well as a revamped Tournament of Champions. Additionally, there are many other great things in store for fans of the show, like a podcast and hall of fame honoring the best Jeopardy! players.

Former contestant-turned-game show journalist Cory Anotado also weighed in. “I don’t think there’s ever really been a game show that has really listened to its fans the way that Jeopardy! is currently doing,” he told the New York Times.

The new hosts of ‘Jeopardy!’ open up about the pressure

Jeopardy! has a large following that is very devoted. It’s not easy for Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik to come in after Alex Trebek spent 37 years hosting. The recently announced permanent hosts opened up about the pressure of the job on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast.

The new hosts never realized just how much work Trebek was effortlessly doing. Jennings compared the job to that of a sportscaster, arguing they must not only represent the players while steering the game but also interpret the action for viewers at home. When surrounded by so much intellect, Jennings said it’s especially demeaning when he makes a stupid mistake.

“Smart contestant, smart audience, and then on the toss to commercial, I, like, say my name wrong or something, and I’m like, ‘What is even happening?'”

Alex Trebek’s death has undoubtedly touched both co-hosts, but Ken Jennings is indisputably a major part of the show’s history. In the 2020 GOAT Tournament, he defeated Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer to become the Greatest of All Time champion, with 74 consecutive victories in a row. That is a point that Mayim Bialik is well aware of. “When it comes to being here, I think especially because of the legacy,” she explained. “The legacy of Alex, and the legacy of Ken — you know, it’s a lot of pressure.”