Fans are worried as the 39th season of the historic game show “Jeopardy!” comes to a close on July 28th while the fate of the 40th season remains unclear.
The show’s current season will mark the last episodes writers worked on before the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, and without clues written for the next season, it is unknown if the show will be able to continue in time for its annual Tournament of Champions, scheduled to begin in September.
“We have no idea when the show will be back, either in syndication or on ABC,” one Reddit user said regarding the show’s fate.
The WGA is a labor union that represents writers for movies, television, documentaries and most forms of recorded media, who have recently been on strike to advocate for improved streaming royalties and protections against AI taking their jobs.
Fellow confused “Jeopardy!” fans responded to the show’s uncertainty online.
“If the strike continues into the fall TV season, there won’t be any Jeopardy! at all,” another worried fan responded in the thread.
A few fans suggested that the showrunners rerun questions from old episodes, but others rejected the idea.
“They aren’t going to recycle questions verbatim from the archives. I know “Jeopardy!” recycles a lot of questions, but they always change something, and that involves writers, and they can’t just have producers do that work.”
The show is typically taped two months in advance, which means under normal circumstances the 40th season would currently be in full production.
The strike comes at an inconvenient time for all of Hollywood, but especially for “Jeopardy!” as the show has undergone many changes since iconic host Alex Trebek died following his battle with pancreatic cancer in November 2020.
Actress Mayim Bialik, who had been alternating host responsibilities with Ken Jennings since last summer, left during the show’s final week of filming in May to stand in solidarity with the writers, according to Deadline.
Fans from the same Reddit forum commented on the fate of the new hosts, saying “If the strike continues into the fall and they try to find a way to continue the show without the writers, I don’t think they’ll have Ken or Mayim.”
The SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) also threatened to strike along with the WGA, which would include most Hollywood actors and Jeaprody’s current co-hosts.
Fans on Reddit noted this additional challenge, saying “Where are they going to get hosts, with Ken and Mayim likely going on strike on Wednesday?”
The SAG-AFTRA strike still looms over the heads of Hollywood studio execs as they meet with federal mediators and union officials in an attempt to reach an agreement and avoid another strike altogether.
“Jeopardy!” now stands as yet another treasured show impacted by policies that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA claim are an existential threat to writers, movies, and television altogether.