Big changes at 'Jeopardy!'. What's new for the 40th season

Season 40 will include new tournaments, more prize money and even some second chances.

ByGina Sirico OTRC logo
Monday, August 7, 2023
'Jeopardy!" season 40 update
'Jeopardy!' producers give a schedule update and promise new tournaments, more prize money.

LOS ANGELES -- "Jeopardy!" fans, we have an update for you on what is happening with the upcoming season of the beloved show. Hang on, because there are lots of new details.

On the latest episode of the "Inside Jeopardy" podcast, executive producer Michael Davies and producer Sarah Foss revealed some of the changes that will be taking place when the show returns this fall.

This season will kick off with a "second chance" tournament with players from season 37 who did not win in their initial appearance. Those winners will advance to a wildcard competition with season 38 Second Chance contestants.

"This is our chance to open it up to a select number of players from Season 37 and season 38 who just never thought they were gonna get that call back on the Alex Trebek stage, players that won at least one game but didn't qualify for the Tournament of Champions" said Foss.

"So really we're just trying to find these great contestants from recent years who didn't think they would get another opportunity, allowing them to come back and providing some great games for those of you that are looking forward to the launch of the season."

Season 39's postseason events, including Second Chance, Champions Wildcard and Tournament of Champions will take place later in season 40, once these first tournaments are complete. The first-ever "Jeopardy!" Invitational Tournament will also happen later in the season.

"Jeopardy!" will remain compliant with the current WGA strike rules.

"The material that we're gonna be using is a combination of material that our WGA writers wrote before the strike, which is still in the database and material that is being redeployed from multiple, multiple seasons of the show," Davies said.

Now, let's talk money. Davies revealed second place finishers will now take home $3000 and third place finishers will take home $2000. "This is something that we've been working on ever since I really took the reins of the show," Davies said.

Some other notable nuggets from the podcast:

The contestant eligibility window will be extended from 18 months to two years.

"Celebrity Jeopardy!" will return for a second season on ABC in September. All material for season two was written prior to the WGA strike.

"Jeopardy! Masters" will return to ABC in Spring, 2024. James Holzhauer won the premiere season earlier this summer.

And as the WGA strike continues, Davies and Foss made it a point to praise the show's writers and the whole team.

"This really is a family who make this show who've been through a lot together over the last few years, and just the respect that everybody holds for each other is something remarkable about this program," Davies said.

Host Ken Jennings talked to On The Red Carpet earlier this year about his bond with the show in the video above.

Season 40 will premiere September 11 on ABC.