Lifespan: March 1964 - September 1975, October 1978 - March 1979, September 1984 - Present, June 1990 - September 1990 ("Super Jeopardy!"), September 1996 - August 1997 ("Jep!")
Host: Art Fleming, Alex Trebek, Bob Bergen
Announcers: Don Pardo, John Harlan, Johnny Gilbert
Produced by: Merv Griffin Productions (J!), Scott Sternberg Productions (Jep!)
Front Game Rules (1964-75 version)
|Three players competed. A board of six categories was revealed, each with clues worth $10 to $50. An answer was read, and players had to buzz in and give the correct question. (Example: "A: The capital of California" "Q: What is Sacramento?" A correct question added the value of the answer to the player's score; otherwise the value was deducted from his/her score. Hidden on the board was one "Daily Double," and the one who selected it could wager any portion of his/her winnings. In the second round, known as "Double Jeopardy!", the dollar values were doubled and two "Daily Doubles" were placed on the board.
In the third round ("Final Jeopardy!") a category was revealed, and all players wagered part of their score on the last answer (Players with negative or zero scores could not participate in Final Jeopardy!). The clue was read, and the players had 30 seconds to write down their answers. A right question added the wager to that player's score, a wrong question subtracted it. All players kept their winnings; the player with the most money won the game and returned the next day (up to five days).
Front and End Game Rules (1978-9 version)
||In the late '70s version, the dollar values were in increments of $25 in Jeopardy! and $50 in Double Jeopardy!. Also, at the end of the first round, the player with the lowest score was eliminated. After Double Jeopardy!, the player with the highest score advanced to the bonus round, known as "Super Jeopardy!".
In Super Jeopardy!, the player was presented five categories with five answers each. The contesant tried to get five right questions in a row across, down, or diagonally, before missing three questions. If successful, the player won a jackpot that started at $5000 and increased by $2500 for each return visit (even if it was won the previous day). Otherwise, the player got $250 for each right answer.
Front and End Game Rules (1984- version)
||Play was identical to the original version, only that the dollar values had been increased tenfold and only the winner got to keep the money.
In the current version, periodical tournaments are held. Each tournament consists of five quarterfinal matches, three semifinals and a two-day final. The five winners of each of the quarterfinals were guaranteed spots in the semifinals; the other four berths were given to the runners-up with the highest scores. In the two-day final, the total from the first day was added to the score of the second day to determine the winner.
Front Game Rules (1990 version)
"Super Jeopardy!" was a 13-week-long tournament between the winners of previous Tournaments of Champions. In the quarterfinal matches four players took part, while the semifinal and final matches had three players as usual. The players scores were in points; Jeopardy! values were from 200 to 1000 points, while Double Jeopardy! values ranged from 500 to 2500 points. The winner of the tournament took home $250,000.
Front and End Game Rules ("Jep!")
||Three kids competed. The game was playes similarly to Jeopardy!, with a few changes. First, only five categories were played per round. Players only chose a category, then hit their buzzer to determine the point value. Some questions were also worth bonus prizes. Players had to sit out a question if they gave three wrong answers (on the second, a vat of styrofoam peanuts or other paraphenalia would dump on them). The winner at the end of the show got to pick from two prize packages.
Loogaroo Looks it Over
Although I'm not as sold on the entire show, I do have to give credit for what can be considered the best concept for a hard quiz. No bells, no whistles, just questions and answers (or is that answers and questions?). Art Fleming really hosted the show in a homely, personable fashion: He ranks right up there with Bob Barker and Allen Ludden as being among the sincerest hosts in the club. Alex Trebek started out in a similar fashion, but as the years wore on (especially recently), he's become snootier and snootier. Although I can't picture anyone else hosting the show as well, it seems as if Alex is catching a light case of Dawsonitis.
A quick note on the 1978 run: Who on Earth decided to tweak the format into that gradual elimination and bonus round? I always used to think Jeopardy! could use a bonus round; the display I saw proved me wrong.
Jep!, however, is really, really bad. I'm glad the real show incorporated kids' weeks into its season, because the concept falls horribly flat here. Of course, the micro-budget that Game Show Network had at the time certainly didn't help things in the way of casting a decent host (Bob Bergen is Marc Summers without the sincerity), prizes that were worth winning (a week's worth of limo rides?) or a good set (is it just me, or did it look like they were shooting in a broom closet?). Jeopardy! for kids isn't a bad idea - if done correctly - but Jep! falls desperately short.
Jeopardy! ('78-9 version)
Gameplay: 2 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 1 pt.
Total Score: 8 pts.
Jeopardy! ('84- version)
Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 3 pts. (2 pts. after 1998)
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 1 pt.
Total Score: 9 pts.
Gameplay: 1 pt.
Host: 1 pt.
Presentation: 1 pt.
Execution: 1 pt.
Total Score: 4 pts.
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