‘Jeopardy!’ EP writes the show will launch a book club, ‘second chance’ tournament

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

Jeopardy!” executive producer Michael Davies wrote in a blog post on the show’s website that the show is planning to launch a book club and, possibly, a “second chance” tournament.

“A few weeks ago, between shows, I approached the workstation of Michael Harris, our senior researcher,” Davies wrote, continuing to say that he “caught” Harris reading a book in between tapings. “… as I walked away from that conversation, I immediately had an idea. We need to start a Jeopardy! Book Club,” he concludes.

“That’s all I have for now. We don’t have all the details figured out yet, but we’re the perfect program to do it. I think we can do something magnificent, and we hope to work in concert with libraries and independent booksellers all across America. One thing I’ve learned pretty quickly is that if I write something on Jeopardy.com, it kind of has to happen,” the post continues.

Later in the post he also writes this about plans to launch a “second chance” tournament to invite back memorable contestants who lost games.

“I started thinking about a Second Chance Tournament almost the day I started on Jeopardy!, when Jessica Stephens beat Matt Amodio, but lost to Jonathan Fisher by just $401. I thought, “Wow, wouldn’t it be a cool idea to have a tournament where we bring excellent contestants like Jessica back?” Like most good ideas, it was quickly apparent that many, many other people – both inside and outside the show – had had exactly the same thought, long before me. But now we’re actually going to do it, and slot it in right before the ToC. More details to follow, including the criteria we will be using to select the rest of the participants. To be clear, though, the eligibility time frame will be the same as for this year’s ToC: We are looking at contestants who appeared on Jeopardy! since the last Tournament of Champions who we believe deserve a second shot. I know there will be many contestants from previous years who will be howling at this point, and I do not rule out a future opportunity to compete again for some of you. But for now this is part of the postseason for this season. We are all so excited at the prospect, and we look forward to seeing some wonderful contestants again on our stage.”

Davies also notes that the “Jeopardy! National College Championship” currently airing on primetime on ABC (which might be different from the local station that carries the normal versions of the show), has the unusual rule that one of the four semifinalists will not advance to the final due to an issue with the number of episodes the network ordered, but that whoever that ends up being will be included in the following “second chance” tournament.

The college champ will also be invited to the Tournament of Champions, Davies confirmed.

Most “Jeopardy!” tournaments, including the ToC, follow a two week format. The first week are quarter finals, with the winner of each game advancing.

Because “Jeopardy!” is played with three contestants per game and there are 10 episodes in two weeks, the math didn’t quite work out to have things be “even.”

According to show lore, the late Alex Trebek reportedly came up with the format the show uses for two week tournaments to this day.

After the quarter finals, there are three semifinal games, with each of the five winners randomly squared off each other in groups of three. However, to make the number of contestants a multiple of three, the top four highest scoring players among non-winners are thrown into the mix as “wildcard” players.

There’s then a two day, total points final to determine the winner of the tournament.