This is (Season) 40.
“Jeopardy!” showrunner Michael Davies revealed Monday that the long-running quiz show will use recycled material and feature former contestants in its upcoming season due to the ongoing Hollywood writers strike.
Davies explained that it “wouldn’t be fair to have new contestants making their first appearance” on the show with material that isn’t original or that was written pre-strike.
“So we decided that really we needed to invite back and give a second chance in general to players who probably thought that their chance to come back and play on the Alex Trebek stage had gone forever,” he said on the “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast.
“We’re going to open the season with a second chance tournament for players from Season 37 who lost their initial game, and winners from that will advance to a Season 37 and Season 38 champions wild card,” he continued.
Davies also announced a bump in prize money for the upcoming 40th season.
“The material that we’re gonna be using is a combination of material that our WGA writers wrote before the strike, which is still in the database and material that is being redeployed from multiple, multiple seasons of the show,” Davies said.
He revealed that the initial plans for the post-season had been “derailed.”
He wasn’t able to give a timeline for when the “regular” episodes of the show will air. The Writers Guild of America strike began in May.
“I understand that the best episodes that are possible are episodes that feature our writers writing original material and the very best contestants that we put on the air playing that original material,” he admitted.
Davies added that he “admires” and “misses” the show’s “beloved” writers, who are petitioning for higher wages, regulation surrounding artificial intelligence, and better pay from streaming services.
Writers are an essential part of “Jeopardy!,” as they write the questions that are read each episode.
The news comes after an unidentified source told The Hollywood Reporter last month that the show would be using recycled material to begin the new season.
In response, several contestants who are slated to be part of the show’s upcoming Tournament of Champions voiced their concerns, with some vowing they wouldn’t cross the picket line to participate.
But a “Jeopardy!” rep told The Post that there was never “any intention of producing a Tournament of Champions for Season 39 until the strike is resolved.”
The decision still left some players, like Season 39 contestant Ray Lalonde, feeling “disappointed.”
“Essentially I found this response disappointing because the show continues to want to shoot new shows across the WGA picket line,” the Toronto-based winner told The Post last month.