Ken Jennings Reveals When Jeopardy! ‘Tournament Overload’ Will End and ‘New Players’ Return

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The end of Jeopardy!‘s tournament deluge is (kinda-sorta) nigh, according to host Ken Jennings.

“We know there have been a lot of tournaments,” Jennings acknowledged to USA Today on Friday amid the delayed launch of the latest Tournament of Champions. “We are sympathetic with tournament overload… It will be early spring for the first time in many, many months, we will finally have new players back on.”

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Hollywood’s dual strikes this past summer forced Jeopardy! to saturate its current season with one tournament after another. And Jennings revealed that when Tournament of Champions ends in mid-March, yet another tournament will commence.

“For the first time this year we’re going to do a Jeopardy! invitational tournament where we bring back some favorite contestants from the past years, in some cases the past decades,” he shared, all but pinpointing the resumption of “regular” Jeopardy! play to April.

Jennings, meanwhile, weighed in on the recent dismissal of co-host Mayim Bialik, maintaining, “I’m not blowing smoke here. I really enjoyed Mayim’s hosting. You could tell she was just a born performer, very confident on stage in a way that I was not at first. I learned a lot from watching her, and I really enjoyed her hosting.”

That said, he understands why Bialik was let go. Echoing Jeopardy! EP Michael Davies’ recent comments, Jennings said, “Jeopardy! is a symbol of consistency and reliability for a lot of our viewers. It’s part of the ritual of their day, and they want to tune in and know what they’re going to see and not wonder, ‘Oh, which host do I see tonight?'”

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