If you sat down recently to watch a new episode of Jeopardy!, you may have been surprised to discover that the show is not currently airing new episodes. But why is that? The answer is probably exactly what you’re expecting, but we’ll unpack it for you anyway. Why is Jeopardy! airing reruns? Read on to find out.
Why is ‘Jeopardy!’ airing reruns right now?
As you are undoubtedly already aware, we’re dealing with a global pandemic at the moment. As a result, the production calendars of many television shows and films have been thrown into disarray as everyone continues to practice social distancing. At this point, we’re not really surprised to hear that a movie like Mulan is being pushed back several months or that the newest season of The Bachelorette is indefinitely delayed. That’s the new normal.
But up until very recently, Jeopardy! had still been airing new episodes. That’s because the show records several episodes at a time. Typically, the show shoots two days per week, but each shooting day covers five episodes. That means that for every week of shooting, two weeks of the show is produced. As a result, we’ve been able to enjoy new episodes of our favorite quiz show even while the world shuts down around us.
Alas, it appears we have come to the end of the pre-recorded Jeopardy! episodes. Back in March, Sony announced that it would be suspending the production of new episodes due to rising concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We take the well-being of our staff, crew, contestants, audience guests and host very seriously, and will not resume taping until it is completely safe,” the press release said.
Since taping has been indefinitely postponed, the studio had no choice but to begin airing reruns of the show until further notice. However, they’re not just airing any reruns.
‘Jeopardy!’ began airing reruns with a classic: Ken Jennings’ first-ever appearance on the show.
If you have to watch old episodes of Jeopardy!, there’s really no better episode to cue up than Ken Jennings’ first-ever game. On June 2, 2004, Ken made his first appearance on the quiz show, and then basically took up residence there for his entire record-breaking 74-game winning streak.
Jeopardy! knows that’s exactly what the people want to watch (as long as new episodes are out of the question, anyway). They started their spate of reruns with Ken’s first game, which re-aired on May 4, 2020. But don’t expect to settle in for the whole 74-game streak. Next, Jeopardy! will be re-airing the entire GOAT Tournament that originally aired back in January (aka The Before Times). There will also be a contestant Zoom panel featuring all three GOAT contestants.
After that, we’ll be able to watch Ken Jennings’ fateful 75th game — the one where he lost that beautiful winning streak. That episode will re-air on May 15. Although we’ll certainly miss watching new episodes, Jeopardy! really couldn’t have picked any better episodes to re-air during this time. Ken Jennings’ original winning streak episodes haven’t been available to stream anywhere since 2004, so these re-runs are really quite a treat.
Hopefully, Jeopardy! will be able to resume its regular production schedule soon, but in the meantime, we’re definitely going to enjoy this glimpse back in time.