Change doesn't come easily for Jeopardy. The iconic game show has remained relatively untouched since it debuted in 1964. There was a big change in 2020 though, when, after 37 years of hosting, Alex Trebek passed away and a number of guest hosts stood behind the podium. Executive Producer Mike Richards eventually replaced Trebek as host, but after a week on the job, controversy caused him to step down not only as host, but as EP as well. Since then, Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings have hosted, with their roles becoming official a few weeks ago, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire producer Michael Davies took over as EP. All the changes led to a lot of headlines for the show and a lot of opinions about it on social media.
Now, Davies has rocked the boat again by suggesting a surprising rule change. On his podcast, Inside Jeopardy!, Davies pointed out how exciting it is when a contestant gets all the questions correct in one category, and he thinks they should be rewarded for it.
Davies said, "There's a real moment in the studio when a contestant runs a category... There's an applause in the studio, but there's no sound effect, no money that changes hands, nothing happens. I don't know if I want to change the scoring, but I think it would be worth trying out - maybe a cash bonus for running a category."
Davies did make sure to note that he is "very aware that Jeopardy! is an institution," adding, "It's like a sport - you don't make changes willy-nilly. [But we] can judiciously try out a few things." He pointed out how in 2003, Harry Friedman, the executive producer before Mike Richards, lifted the five-game cap put on champions, which led to the likes of Ken Jennings going on long winning streaks. Davies said, "That in itself is the most significant change in Jeopardy! ever, if not in any sport in the world."
As of now, nothing has changed, and many fans want to keep it that way. On Reddit, people wrote things like, "Please, no bonuses for sweeping categories. We don't need to be making changes to the basic gameplay," and, "Leave the structure of the game alone. It's worked for 38, now 39, seasons, and it's the number one syndicated show. There's no need to tweak the formula." Others were a bit more opinionated, saying, "Why don’t they change the rules of Jeopardy! so you can just yell out the answer whenever you think of it? That maybe would add an exciting element to the show," and, "Instead of a clicker they can give you eggs to throw at the big board!"
You can keep up to date with Davies by listening to his Inside Jeopardy! podcast.