‘Jeopardy!’ EP Revisiting Controversial Cash Bonus Proposal After Fan Backlash
Davies, who took over the executive producing role after Mike Richards was fired, visited the Sept. 19 episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast alongside producer Sarah Foss and frequent alum Buzzy Cohen. He told listeners that he was interested in adding a cash prize for contestants who correctly answer an entire column of clues within a category.
“I’ve been thinking about trying out, perhaps in one of our other tournament weeks this season, experimenting with giving out a cash bonus for contestants who run a category,” said Davies. “It’s a moment in the studio; it’s a great thing.”
Cohen pointed out that “Twitter exploded with pros and cons” when the proposal was first mentioned in the Sept. 13 episode. He asked if the bonus would affect the game score total. Davies and Foss both answered “no,” agreeing that it would be a “separate bonus.”
Davis added, “It might also give incentive to people who are trailing to try and go into a category and get something from the game beyond their second or third place prize.” That seemed to win over the alum as it was then suggested that the show could introduce a gag prize, such as “to dunk tank Ken.”
Twitter account, The Jeopardy! Fan, weighed in on the proposed change when it was initially brought up. They wrote, “I think it would work really well if it was, say, a sponsored prize from a show partner—and it was something that didn’t affect the actual outcome of the game itself.” The polarized comment section includes some expressing their support and sharing their ideas, and others saying they’re “not a fan” of the proposed change.
Commenting on this week’s podcast episode, one fan tweeted, “The proposed idea of a cash bonus at the end of a #Jeopardy game for running a category is a great idea, even if contestants have to go from top to bottom. Like say someone gets $1,000 for third place but they get maybe an extra $1,000 or so for running a category.”
If executed, this wouldn’t be the first major change from Davies. Last month, it was revealed that Davis changed where Mayim Bialik looked while thanking long-time show announcer Johnny Gilbert – now having the host thank Gilbert directly to the camera, rather than looking out into the audience.
Jeopardy! airs on weeknights at 7/6c on ABC.