‘Jeopardy!’ Limps to Its 38th Season After a Chaotic Summer

The new Jeopardy! season is finally here, and no one could have foreseen the staggering path the quiz show would take at the end of its previous season. From the death of longtime host Alex Trebek, the parade of guest hosts, and the rise and fall of Mike Richards as the permanent host and executive producer, fans hope the new Jeopardy! season ushers in stability — and a new Jeopardy! host who lasts.

The ‘Jeopardy!’ game board showing Double Jeopardy!
The classic game show ‘Jeopardy!’ has ushered in a new season. | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

The new ‘Jeopardy!’ season welcomes back defending champ Matt Amodio

Yale doctoral student Matt Amodio returns for the new Jeopardy! season, hoping to continue his winning streak. At last season’s end, the streak was at 18 games with over $500,000 in winnings. He’s currently the show’s third most successful player, behind Ken Jennings in first place and James Holzhauer.

“Just to see myself on the stage at all is an honor,” Amodio told the show. “Everything that has happened since, I just can’t fathom.” 

The fan-favorite hasn’t forgotten his roots, taking a moment during the last season to thank his teachers. “I want to thank my current Ph.D. adviser, of course,” he said, via Parade. “But I’m a proud product of my public high school or my public school system in Medina, Ohio. So, I loved every teacher I had, and you don’t get enough thanks. Thank you very much.”

A dizzying summer at ‘Jeopardy!’

To say that the course of events at the show in August was bewildering would be an understatement.

Richards’ name was teased in early August as Trebek’s successor; a week later, on Aug. 11, he was announced as the show’s new host, along with actor Mayim Bialik. He taped five games on Aug. 19, just after The Ringer staff writer Claire McNear published an investigative piece exposing slurs and offensive comments Richards made in 2013 and 2014 on a self-hosted podcast while he was executive producer of The Price is Right. Citing the distraction the controversy was causing the quiz show, Richards stepped down as host on Aug. 20, and Bialik took over hosting duties until a new host is chosen.

But the outrage against Richards on social media didn’t stop after he quit as host. He was still the executive producer, and even Jeopardy!‘s past contestants bristled against his remaining in such an influential position. 

Finally, he was let go as showrunner by Sony Television on Aug. 31. It was a stunning and chaotic turn of events for Jeopardy!, regarded more as an institution than just another game show.

The name fans are clamoring for as the new ‘Jeopardy!’ host

On the show’s Instagram page, fans are appealing for Buzzy Cohen to be named Jeopardy! host. The 2017 Tournament of Champions winner hosted this year’s tournament and wowed fans with his poise and charisma.

“Can’t wait for the new season, especially for Matt Amodio. I hope he continues his streak. Also, make Buzzy Cohen permanent host. To me, he deserves that job,” one fan wrote.

Another said, “Go Matt!!! Btw, please make Buzzy full-time host.”

Hopefully, Jeopardy!‘s new season will return the show’s focus back where it should be: on its contestants. 

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