Jeopardy! Producers Admit A Recent Episode Was Painful To Watch

A Jeopardy! episode featured 23 questions that no contestants were able to get correct.

By Douglas Helm | Published


June 7 was one of the worst Jeopardy! episodes of recent memory, and even producer Sarah Foss had to admit that it wasn’t a great effort. The episode featured contestants Collette Lee, Kristine Rembach, and defending champion Suresh Krishnan failing to buzz in on a whopping 23 answers. On the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, Foss said, “in this game — this has to be a record — 23 triple stumpers,” adding, “it’s something we never like to see.” (via Entertainment Weekly)

Obviously, it’s not something that fans love to see, either. It’s fun to watch Jeopardy! to answer the questions at home, but you also want to see some spirited competition from the contestants. When there are that many questions unanswered, the game isn’t quite as exciting as it would normally be.

Of course, the fault isn’t entirely on the contestants, as several fans on social media noted that the clues were especially hard or worded strangely. Jeopardy! clues are tricky, but also often have subtle suggestions to help the contestants to come up with the answers even if they’re not always super knowledgeable in the subject matter. Of course, these clues can’t always be perfect, and there will inevitably be some cases where the contestants get a little thrown off their game.

Still, it’s very rare to see three Jeopardy! contestants all stumped by a question that many times. It’s certainly not standard for the show, and it’ll likely be a while until we see that many missed questions on the show again. In the meantime, the clue writers for the game show are focused on the Writer’s Guild of America strike.

ken jennings jeopardy

The Jeopardy! writers are on strike for better pay for writers, AI regulation, and other key issues. Co-host Mayim Bialik also walked off the show in support of the writers, though Ken Jennings opted to stay and finish out the remainder of the season. While the clues for the episodes Jennings is hosting have already been written, writers and former contestants have made it known the decision left a bad taste in their mouths.

Still, Jennings came out in support of the Jeopardy! writers recently praised their ability to write the clues, saying how AI wouldn’t be able to do the same job. Almost everyone can agree on this, and the game show certainly wouldn’t be the same if AI was handling the clues. Hopefully, the WGA strike will prevent AI from part of writing the game show’s clues in the future.

As for the 23-stumper episode, it is all but forgotten for now, as Suresh Krishnan finished as a 6-day champion with $96,595. Now, Ken Jennings will continue to host and wrap up the 39th season until it ends on July 28. After that, Jeopardy! will go on summer hiatus and start airing reruns.

As for the Fall 2023 season, we’ll just have to wait and see. If the WGA strike is still ongoing, Jeopardy! may have to extend its hiatus into the Fall season. We’ll keep you updated on this and other Jeopardy! news.