Jeopardy! (Seven, 1970-1978, Ten, 1993)
Jeopardy! is something of an institution in America, running for decades, and being the game show where the contestants have to provide the questions. A lot of viewers seem to consider the sign of a good champion to be their wagering skills along with their general knowledge. This has never really been a success in the UK though, but there has also been an Australian version.
The first version ran in the 70s and had four different hosts, but this piece will concentrate on the revival in the 90s, which was hosted by Tony Barber, who had previously hosted Sale Of The Century (and I plan to review that soon too). This is fairly faithful to the original American version. Three contestants take part, including a defending champion.
The six categories are revealed, and they contain five clues of increasing money values, from $100 to $300, so there is actually a fairly decent amount that can be won. But they must be aware that if they give an incorrect response, they will lose the amount of money on offer. There is also one Daily Double. At this point, the studio audience start insisting how much should be wagered as if they’re on The Price Is Right which is odd.
And then there’s the Double Jeopardy! round, where the values increase from $200 to $1,000 (so that actually isn’t doubling them). And there are also two Daily Doubles on offer. They then take their scores into the Final Jeopardy! round. They make their wager based on the category, and then they have 30 seconds to write down their response in the form of a question.
Whoever ends up with the highest score becomes the champion and wins their total. The defeated players take away some consolation prizes. Contestants can stay for up to five shows before they have to retire undefeated. And I’m sure that all of them had fun. This revival of Jeopardy! was also shown five nights a week, and presumably was planned to have another long run.
However, this didn’t seem to go down that well with viewers and only ran for about six months. To finish off, there was a Super Challenge special, where the best contestants returned to play again. Three decades on, another revival is planned. There is going to be another British version, and the same studio will also be used for the Australian version, featuring expats as contestants.