Jeopardy - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

Linda Fairstein
This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 1 page of information about Jeopardy.
This section contains 248 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)

Jeopardy!

The popular television game show Jeopardy! reversed the "question and answer" format typical of most trivia shows, to the delight of fans who have followed the show either on NBC or in syndication since its debut in March of 1964. The unique format of Jeopardy! was established in response to the quiz show scandals of 1958, giving contestants the answers up front and requiring them to provide the correct questions. Three contestants vied for cash by supplying correct questions to answers revealed on a board of thirty squares, containing five answers in each of six categories.

The show, originally hosted by Art Fleming, consisted of three rounds: Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy. When the show returned to television in 1984, after a five-year hiatus, its host was veteran game-show host Alex Trebek. With his erudite manner and textbook pronunciation of foreign words and phrases, Trebek became the object of both admiration and scorn, gaining a wide viewership of fans riveted by the show and critics eager to see his rare blunders. By the end of the 1980s Jeopardy! had become one of the most popular first-run syndicated series, packaged by King World Entertainment with the perennial primetime favorite Wheel of Fortune. Jeopardy! became a lucrative merchandising vehicle as well, spawning home versions of the game and computerized scoring devices that viewers could use to play along at home.

Further Reading:

McNeil, Alex. Total Television: A Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. 4th ed. New York, Penguin, 1996.

This section contains 248 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
Jeopardy from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.