Recap: ‘Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time’

Noah Grabianski, Staff Writer

The popular daytime game show Jeopardy! has been running for over thirty-five years, and during its lengthy run, three contestants have shown through. Ken Jennings has won the most games, Brad Rutter has won the most money, and James Holzhauer has set the most records. On January 7th, all three came together to participate in the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time, the winner of which would earn one million dollars. 

This series was the first time Jennings and Rutter had appeared on a version of Jeopardy! since last season’s Jeopardy! All-Star Games, which Jennings and his team won. However, this was Holzhauer’s first appearance since his thirty-two game long winning streak that ended at the very end of last season.

The series took a different approach than other Jeopardy! tournaments, which I personally enjoyed. Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time aired as an entirely different series, during prime time rather than daytime. This helped the show greatly. Unlike other tournaments, both the main show and The Greatest of All Time could air on the same day. This prevented the main show from being halted for a week.

It also included an hour of content instead of the regular thirty minutes, which allowed for a new, interesting layout. While it still followed the traditional Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy rounds, in that order, it included two games per episode. However, these games were instead referred to as rounds, and the two scores of each contestant were added together to complete one game. Whoever won three games first won one million dollars.

The show only lasted four episodes. Jennings won the first game, Holzhauer won the second, and Jennings finished out the series by winning the games three and four, earning the title of The Greatest of All Time. The entire show was a riveting close race between Jennings and Holzhauer, while Rutter gave an incredibly poor performance. Ending every round at near or at zero dollars in earnings, he proved that the size of the wagers don’t matter if you can’t answer the questions correctly. 

As fun as watching The Greatest of All Time was, no show can be perfect. Jeopardy! is better when watched in the half-hour long doses it usually comes in. Any longer, and attention spans can be lost. Along with that, it seems as though ABC studios got more involved this time than normal. Not only were there multiple categories that were used to advertise other ABC shows, it also seemed as though the contestants and host Alex Trebek were encouraged to banter in the middle of the shows, which took away from the show’s flow and made everybody look uncomfortable.

Aside from the imperfections, Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time raked in ratings higher than last year’s Super Bowl. This raises the question of yet another season. This might be difficult, as Ken Jennings has announced that he will no longer be appearing on Jeopardy!, and there can’t be two Greatests of All Time. But fans will definitely want another season.