‘Jeopardy!’ to replay ‘Greatest of All Time’ tournament, episodes from Ken Jennings’ 74-game winning streak
This time around, producers have bookended the tournament with the first and last shows of Ken Jennings’ record-breaking run in 2004. These episodes haven’t aired since their original broadcast.
While “Jeopardy!” has suspended filming amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the show has continued with its pre-taped episodes, including the College Tournament that ended last week.
Now, “Jeopardy!” is about to re-broadcast its biggest tournament in the show’s history. The “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” tournament that aired in January — and drew close to 15 million viewers per episode — will air again May 4-15.
The ratings put the tournament on a level with the 2019 NBA Finals and the 2019 World Series.
And the tournament, which featured the show’s three all-time greats — Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter — answered a question “Jeopardy!” fans have been wondering since 2004, when a clue about H&R Block dethroned Jennings after a 74-game winning streak: Is Jennings really that good?
To make a long story short, he is.
Fifteen years after his initial run on the show, Jennings was crowned “The Greatest of All Time” and walked away with $1 million. And fans who missed it the first time around — or just want to enjoy the thrill of it all again — can watch it next month, “Jeopardy!” announced Tuesday.
Originally running as four 60-minute episodes, producers have edited the tournament into eight 30-minute shows. The episodes will air on the show’s regular network.
This time around, though, producers have combined the two Jennings eras, bookending the tournament with the first and last shows of Jennings’ record-breaking run in 2004. These episodes haven’t aired since their original broadcast, according to the “Jeopardy!” official website.
On May 4, “Jeopardy!’” will kick things off by airing Jennings’ first episode. His run on the show is even more remarkable considering this first game that originally aired June 2, 2004, the Deseret News previously reported.
Going into Final Jeopardy, Jennings had $20,000. He bet $17,201 of that amount on the final clue: “She’s the first female track & field athlete to win medals in five different events at a single Olympics.” Jennings responded, “Who is Jones?” referencing Marion Jones.
According to a Ken Jennings timeline, host Alex Trebek said, “We will accept that, in terms of female athletes, there aren’t that many.” But if the response hadn’t been accepted, Jennings would have finished last, and his streak never would have started.
And then, of course, there’s the gasp heard round the world when Jennings was eliminated 74 games later. A new generation of “Jeopardy!” fans will now get to watch that entire episode unfold on May 15.
Here is the full broadcast schedule, according to the show’s website:
- May 4: Jennings’ first game (Original airdate: June 2, 2004)
- May 5: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 1, Game 1
- May 6: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 1, Game 2
- May 7: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 2, Game 1
- May 8: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 2, Game 2
- May 11: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 3, Game 1
- May 12: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 3, Game 2
- May 13: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 4, Game 1
- May 14: “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” Match 4, Game 2
- May 15: Jennings’ final game (Original airdate: November 30, 2004)