KEN Jennings has reportedly joined the writing team for Jeopardy! deprived, who demonstrated right outside the studio to host the first tape day of the 40th season.
Danger! Controversy began today with the taping of the next season, reusing references and previous contestants without its writers.
The long-running game show began taping its 40th season on Tuesday amid the two Hollywood strikes — it will premiere on September 11.
But when entering the Sony parking lot in Culver City, California, there was a speed limit; Almost the entire typing staff went on strike right outside the door.
The writers of Jeopardy! boycotted the series outright because it resumed production for the first time since May.
WGA West is on
In the photos, lead authors Billy Wisse and Michele Loud were standing at Sony’s gates with about 25 others.
“No one saw him drive up”
A WGA member demonstrating with the writers exclusively told The US Sun that 49-year-old Ken did not drive through the main gates and appeared to avoid a confrontation with his writers.
The source shared, “It sounded like most of the writers were there.
“We didn’t have a chance to turn Ken Jennings away because nobody saw him pull up.
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“Either he heard there was a picket line and didn’t leave the house, or he took a different route into production.”
“The pickets were in good spirits,” they added.
“YES, KEN IS HOSTING”
One Reddit user claimed that despite the harrowing juxtaposition, the recording of the upcoming season’s opening episodes with a live audience went as planned.
They wrote: “Ok, that’s me Strictly speaking Here at Sony we are now waiting to participate in the afternoon taping. Apparently they didn’t cancel the recording.
“There’s no staff out here yet, but I think the guards would have said something by now if it had been cancelled.”
When asked if Ken was hosting, they replied: “Yes, he was. And at the end of the taping, Ken told everyone that his son, Dylan, was in the audience!”
The US Sun has subscribed to Jeopardy! clever! representative for comment.
KEN CLIMBS BACK
Ken shares hosting duties with Mayim Bialik, 47, who was unable to present as a presenter in the final week of last season due to the strike, as reported by deadline — and Ken reentered.
Ken has been criticized by fans and cast as a so-called scab who should wrap things up and return to the set in the spring.
The game show legend’s latest tweet also hinted that he’ll be back behind the moderator’s podium for new episodes this fall.
On Saturday, an angry fan called out to Ken on X, formerly known as Twitter.
They wrote, “Ken Jennings you are a disgrace trying to cross pickets.”
“Alex [Trebek] would NEVER do such a thing. He would turn his grave if he behaved like that.
The star responded with a screenshot of Sony’s recent statement on upcoming Season 40: “Jeopardy! has a long history with and respects the WGA and our writers. We have always been careful to honor our WGA agreements and we have never broadcast any game material not created by WGA writers.”
He then highlighted the following passage: “But just as we did under the leadership of Alex Trebek during the 2007-2008 strike, we will be delivering first broadcasts again this fall.”
NO SCRIPTERS, NO PROBLEM
As viewers tuned in to the summer reruns, it was announced that Season 40 will launch on September 11th with a big change.
Showrunner Michael Davies shared that season 40 will consist of recycled versions of old questions from years past as the writers are still on strike.
Regular episodes with new participants will also not be aired.
Instead, the show will draw on former players; from Season 37 and Season 38.
Michael said on the podcast Inside Jeopardy! that the content will be a “combination of material written by our WGA writers prior to the strike that is still in the database and material resupplied from multiple, multiple seasons of the show.”
“Basically, I also believe that it would not be fair for new participants to perform for the first time with non-original material.”
He shared, “So we’re going to open the season with a second chance tournament for players from season 37 who lost their first game.”
“And the winners of that will get a Champions Wildcard for Season 37 and Season 38.”
However, several seasons 37 and 38 contestants have stated that they will not be participating in the new episodes until the strike is resolved.
This came after the 2023 Tournament of Champions was postponed when almost all the champions involved boycotted participation until the strike was settled and new clues were written.
JAMES, AMY & MATTEA BLAST JEOPARDY!
Big stars have already criticized the move to film by asking recycled questions and even putting former contestants in such a difficult position.
He wrote: “If you don’t have time to listen, here is the synopsis of today’s announcement:
“1:00-2:00: The writers of Jeopardy are invaluable and without them we could not produce the show
“2:00-15:00: This is how we will produce the coming season without them.”
Fan favorite Mattea Roach, 24, previously criticized the move: “It would be better if the season didn’t start new episodes until the strike is resolved.”
Amy Schneider tweeted, “Disappointed to hear that Jeopardy is considering this course of action. By the way, I will also not take part in Jeopardy productions that are not used.” new Notes written by their amazing unionized writers under a fair, collectively negotiated contract.”
“NO DANGER! WITHOUT US’
In May, the game show was hit by the Writers Guild of America strike — now a double strike with SAG-AFRRA — because the entire writing team is WGA members.
The Writers Guild of America announced on May 1 that it was going on strike after weeks of stalled talks with Netflix, Amazon, Sony (Jeopardy’s parent company!) and others.
The next day, pickets gathered as writers protested their contracts and salaries – ever since SAG-AFTRA joined and threw all Hollywood projects into existential question.
Lead writers Wisse and Loud recently told Variety, “Our words are on the screen every night.
“Without writers there is no ‘Jeopardy’. Without us, it’s just a blank blue screen.”
They continued, “They ask some people to work day to day,” another Jeopardy! The writer said, “Supporting those who are seeing mini-room experiences from even smaller teams of writers on streaming platform shows.”
“They’ve never tried to make it a gig economy,” said Billy Wisse. “You always had the feeling that authors were partners in this.”