Jeopardy! is an American television game show that was originally created by Merv Griffin in 1964. The game show works similarly to a trivia quiz-like competition, in which three competitors respond with a question (Who is... What is...) to the statement-like answers posed to them.
The show's original daytime version debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964, featuring Art Fleming with Don Pardo serving as the show's announcer. This version of the show aired until January 3, 1975. A weekly nighttime syndicated version of Jeopardy aired for one year, between 1974 and 1975 in September, with a revival of the original show debuting in October of 1978 entitled The All-New Jeopardy. It would end in March of 1979. The current version of the series, and the most successful of any version, began running in September of 1984, celebrating its 51st anniversary later this year. This version of the show is hosted by Alex Trebeck, with Johnny Gilbert serving as the show's announcer.
Jeopardy! features three contestants per game who stand behind podiums, with the returning champion occupying the left-most podium from the audience's perspective. The contestants then participate in responding to trivia questions (again, in the form of statements, while their answers are posed as questions) from different categories. The categories often feature silly puns or intricate word play, while the trivia questions themselves stem from a variety of different topics, including: sports, pop culture, music, history, current events, the arts and sciences, literature and even language. The show consists of three rounds, with the first being Jeopardy! the second being Double Jeopardy! and the third being Final Jeopardy!v
The first two rounds of the show proceed in a similar fashion. Each round features six categories, each of which contains five clues for a total of thirty. Each clue has an assigned value, ranging from $250 to $1000. These values have changed since the series first premiered, with the original Jeopardy series having clues range from $10 to $50, and the All New-Jeopardy having clues range from $25 to $125. Similarly, the values from the current version of Jeopardy! were originally $100 to $500, when the values of clues rose in 2001 to reflect what they are today. On the Super Jeopardy! specials, clues are valued at points as opposed to dollars, though they, too, range from 200 to 1000 points.
The first round begins with the returning champion picking a clue, which can be from anywhere on the board. The clue is revealed and read aloud by the host, who then allows any of the contestants to respond. The contestant who hits their buzzer fastest is the one who gets to answer the question. Responding correctly to the riddle awards the contestant the cost of the clue, and the chance to pick the next clue. Responding incorrectly or not answering the question within five seconds subtracts the clue's value from the contestant's monetary score, and allows another contestant to answer, instead. If no contestant attempts to respond to the clue, the host will reveal the clue's answer after five seconds, and the contestant who responded to the last clue correctly gets to pick the next clue.
The Final Jeopardy! round features a single clue that all contestants may answer. At the end of the second round, the host announces the final rounds category and then the show breaks to a commercial. When the show continues, each contestant is allowed to wager a number between 0 and their current score before proceeding to unveil the final clue. The contestants are given thirty seconds to respond to the clue. Those who respond correctly have their wager added to their overall score, while those who respond incorrectly have it subtracted. The winner of the show is the contestant with the highest score at the end of the final round.