‘The Chase’ Featuring ‘Jeopardy!’ Icon Ken Jennings Gets Renewal From ABC

by Chris Haney

The ABC network recently announced its unscripted summer schedule, including the renewal of The Chase, which features Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings.

With the help of three former Jeopardy! champions, The Chase‘s first season on ABC earned solid ratings. The game show is an adaptation of a British quiz show of the same name from ITV Entertainment. The first American season of the show aired in January, but only taped nine episodes. Following the popularity of The Chase, the network is bringing the game show back for a second season. Additionally, they’re not wasting any time getting back to production.

According to a Deadline article, ABC ordered a longer run of the series for its second season. They also won’t be waiting until next year for season two. They’re planning on The Chase‘s return to American television only two months from now.

Rob Mills, EVP of Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment at Walt Disney Television, recently spoke with Deadline. He shared his excitement for the return of The Chase, and looks forward to keeping up the momentum of the game show.

The Chase is one of those ones we wanted to get back on as soon as possible because we really want the momentum of that format to keep going,” Mills explained. “Hopefully you’ll see million dollar final chases in this second cycle. But we really are high on that format. We’re excited with how it did this winter and we’re glad we can bring it back so quickly.”

The ABC announcement also released their unscripted summer schedule. The Chase will return on Sunday, June 6 at 9 p.m. It will air in between Celebrity Family Feud (8 p.m.) and To Tell the Truth (10 p.m.).

‘The Chase’ Writers Recently Went on Strike

The renewal follows producers and the WGA settling their contract dispute, which led to a writers’ strike. Just a couple weeks ago, The Chase received a notice from the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) that the show’s writers were going on strike. The notice claims that the game show treated the writing staff unfairly.

“Per Working Rule 8, no Writers Guild member shall accept employment on The Chase, effective immediately,” the WGAE wrote in a letter to members. “ITV America has refused to apply the full terms of the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) to all seasons of The Chase going forward – and writers on The Chase, and the Guild at large, refuse to accept an agreement that would undermine writers of future seasons.”

Recently, Variety reported that WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson stated the writers went on strike because of ITV America’s failure to receive benefits.

“We have alerted Writers Guild members that ITV America is refusing to honor the choice of writers at The Chase to be represented by the union and to receive pension and health benefits, residuals, and the other basic provisions of our industry-wide MBA,” said Peterson.

However, ITV America shared their side of the negotiations as well.

“After the WGAE approached ITV one week ago, we began good faith negotiations. [We] proposed a package for the writers that includes generous, over-scale pay increases and health benefits through the WGA. Despite that proposal, the WGAE is refusing to make a deal and insisting on terms that would economically cripple the show. We remain open to continuing discussions with the guild,” ITV America responded at the time.

With the contract dispute behind them, the second season of The Chase is officially set for June.