Last month, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Davies kicked off a swarm of controversy by proposing a rule change that could see contestants walk away with a cash bonus if they answer an entire column of clues a.k.a. “run a category.” It used to be an exciting moment for Jeopardy! fans to watch, but the practice has gone away as more contestants have adapted a strategy of “DD-hunting,” randomly picking clues to score a Daily Double.
In an effort to restore the excitement of category running to the game, Davies revealed that he’s been toying with the cash bonus incentive. “It’s a moment in the studio; it’s a great thing,” Davies told former champ Buzzy Cohen during a September episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast.
Since then, there’s been a sizable amount of feedback from fans who are worried that the rule change could affect the show’s gameplay. It got to the point where Davies felt the need to respond to the backlash in the latest podcast episode. Via TVInsider:
While the new rule is something Davies is seriously mulling over, he stated that it hadn’t yet been implemented, so people don’t need to be worried.
“A lot of response, we should say, to my, let’s say, positing the not yet reined-in idea that I floated. It doesn’t need to be reined-in yet because it hasn’t been enacted in any way,” Davies said.
Despite not implementing the rule change yet, it appears to be in the mix, which is why Davies repeated his initial explanation that the category run bonus would not affect the contestant’s actual scores.
“It would not add to that game total; it would not be there [on players’ scores]. It would be a separate thing,” Davies said.
However, when Davies first shared the rule change, he did note that it could cause contestants to switch up their strategies. “It might also give incentive to people who are trailing to try and go into a category and get something from the game beyond their second or third place prize,” Davies told Buzzy Cohen back in September.
If contestants are chasing ancillary bonuses, that could affect gameplay even if that bonus isn’t added to their total, so it’ll be interesting to see if the category run rule change comes into play or if it stays on the drawing board.