is an American quiz show featuring trivia in topics such as history, literature, the arts, pop culture, science and sports. The show has a unique answer-and-question format in which contestants are presented with clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form.
The show has a decades-long broadcast history in the United States since its creation by Merv Griffin in 1964. It first ran in the daytime on NBC from March 30, 1964 until January 3, 1975; concurrently ran in a weekly syndicated version from September 9, 1974 to September 5, 1975; and subsequently ran in a revival from October 2, 1978 to March 2, 1979. All of these versions were hosted by Art Fleming. Its most successful incarnation is the Alex Trebek hosted syndicated version, which has aired continuously since September 10, 1984, and has been adapted internationally.
The show is produced by Sony Pictures Television (the successor company to original producer Merv Griffin Enterprises, though the Griffin estate holds the copyright under dummy company Jeopardy Productions, Inc.), and is distributed by CBS Television Distribution (the successor to original distributor King World Productions).
Prior to 2003, a contestant who won five consecutive days was retired undefeated, with a guaranteed spot in the next Tournament of Champions. Three new contestants would appear on the following show. In September 2003, with the start of Season 20, the show dropped the total cash winnings limit and the 5-day cap on the number of episodes on which a champion could appear. Champions can now remain on the program indefinitely until defeated, although champions who appear on five or more consecutive episodes no longer receive an automobile. The most successful returning champion after this rule change was implemented was Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutive games and a total of $2,520,700, breaking several records for both Jeopardy!
and American game shows in general.
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