Like many TV projects, the immensely popular game show shut down production in March out of concern for its staff and audience amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, it had enough episodes in the can to keep airing new ones until now.
As a result, the show announced it’s kicking off its “Big Champions and Big Wins” summer event on June 15 that will show reruns of past champions before rebroadcasting its 2019 "Tournament of Champions" in July.
The show will look back at 15 players who previously won and the wins that led them to compete in the 2019 tournament. Included on that list will be revisiting James Holzhauer’s record-breaking 32-game winning streak as well as his eventual defeat at the hands of fellow champion Emma Boettcher. It's unclear what the show plans to do after it re-airs its 2019 tournament.
“For the first time, we have a chance to shine a light on each individual player before we revisit a big tournament,” wrote "Jeopardy!" executive producer Mike Richards in a statement provided to Fox News. “Some of these contestants played quite a while ago, so we hope that highlighting their biggest games will provide a deeper understanding of their specific strengths and how they earned their places in the Tournament of Champions.”
According to TheWrap, “Jeopardy!” ran out of episodes that were taped prior to COVID-19, which forced the entertainment industry to either shut its doors or implement new guidelines to safely work under strict social distancing guidelines. The outlet notes that “Jeopardy!” is particularly difficult to film during the pandemic as its in-person contestant auditions can't happen, meaning there are no new contestants to tape even if they could get back in the studio. While aspiring contestants are still able to take qualifying tests from home, it’s only one step in an otherwise lengthy process.
“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 show wrote in an update to fans on May 20. “Similarly, all previously scheduled contestant searches have been postponed. We will not resume contestant tryouts until it is safe to do so.”