The greatest Jeopardy! players of all time are returning to television.
But Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter won’t be competing against one another again to determine the game’s best player ever. The three will reunite on a different TV quiz show to show off their trivia talents.
Jennings, Holzhauer, and Rutter will take part in ABC’s The Chase, a version of a popular British game show in which contestants are “chased” by experts competing against them on trivia questions to stop them from winning prizes. This U.S. version will be hosted by Sara Haines (The View) and has already received a series order from ABC so there will be a full season of the show.
As described by Variety‘s Michael Schneider, each episode of The Chase could feature up to 166 questions, covering virtually any topic, for contestants while competing against Jennings, Holzhauer, and Rutter.
Holzhauer actually competed on a different U.S. adaptation of The Chase, produced for Game Show Network, before his 32-match win streak on Jeopardy! during which he accumulated $2.5 million in winnings. (Fox attempted to adapt the show, but that effort never made it past the pilot stage with the network.)
The Jennings-Holzhauer-Rutter trio was last seen together on television during ABC’s Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time event which drew big numbers earlier this year. (It’s understandable if you thought that occurred last year, since it was pre-pandemic.)
With a $1 million prize at stake, the tournament lasted four matches over one week in early January. Jennings won three of the contests, while Holzhauer won one. That pushed Jennings’ total winnings from regular Jeopardy! play (during which he won 74 consecutive games) and special tournament to $5,223,414, pushing him past Rutter’s career $5,138,436 total.
Due to COVID-19 shutdowns, there will be few options available for dramatic series and sitcoms during the fall and winter. (Of course, few sports other than football and college basketball will be played as well, depending on whether or not the NBA returns before Christmas.)
So game shows like The Chase might provide the best entertainment network TV has to offer. ABC is obviously hoping the greatest Jeopardy! players of all time competing against a new flock of contestants creates some compelling television.
No word yet on a premiere date for ABC, as the show is going into production.