Jeopardy Is Finally Resuming Regular Episodes Soon, And The Returning Champion Boasts A New Record

 Ken Jennings smiling in front of game board on Celebrity Jeopardy!.
Ken Jennings smiling in front of game board on Celebrity Jeopardy!.

This is not a drill, Jeopardy! fans. One of the best game shows of all time is about to return to its regularly scheduled programming. No more celebrities, no more second chances, no more wild cards, no more JIT. Just your regular old smarter-than-the-average-human Jeopardy! contestants. It’s happening sooner than you may realize, too, as the aforementioned Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament comes to a close, and as for our long-waiting returning champion Lucas Partridge, he will grace the Alex Trebek Stage with a new record to his name.

When it comes to the cascade of tournaments that we’ve seen in the past months, Jeopardy! may have saved the best for last, with the so-called JIT welcoming back icons of the game, both classic and modern. The semifinals are underway, with the finals starting Friday, April 5. The first finalist to win two games claims the $100,000 prize and a coveted spot in the upcoming Jeopardy! Masters tournament. Producer Sarah Foss explained on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast what that means:

[The JIT finals] could run as little as two games, as many as four, which means next week, no matter what, we will be back to regular Jeopardy! I know people are excited.

People certainly are excited! The last time three civilians brandished the buzzers was on July 28, 2023. That will end next week, with regular Jeopardy! starting back between Tuesday, April 9, and Thursday, April 11, depending on how long it takes someone to clinch the Invitational Tournament.

Sarah Foss also pointed out that Lucas Partridge, who has accumulated $66,200 so far from his three victories from last summer, is now the title-holder of a new record. She continued:

We’re going to welcome back — you might not remember him, it was so long ago — our three-game champion Lucas Partridge. You know, he now holds a record he never wanted to hold, and that is the longest-reigning Jeopardy! champion.

While the rest of us Jeopardy! fans have been suffering from tournament fatigue, Lucas Partridge has been able to walk around as the reigning champion. Podcast co-host Buzzy Cohen noted as much, saying it wasn’t the record itself that Partridge may find undesirable. Cohen said:

Well I’m sure he wanted to hold that, but not for the reasons that he has.

It will be great to see the school counselor from Las Vegas return to the show, and it will be equally nice to see two complete strangers standing next to him. Only time will tell if the long layover worked to Lucas Partridge’s advantage or not. Hopefully he used the time to sharpen up his World Capital skills and really hone in on his knowledge of Composers.

Either way, one thing the contestant can count on is having the same host as when he left. Ken Jennings finished out the final episodes of Jeopardy!’s 39th season when Mayim Bialik chose to stand in solidarity with the striking Writers Guild of America members. It has since been announced that The Big Bang Theory actress will not return, and Jennings — one of Jeopardy’s biggest winners — will continue as the sole host.

All of my faux complaints about the tournaments aside, the last contests in the Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament promise to be spectacular, so check your local listings for that, and tune in next week when everything gets back to normal. As always, you can stay up to date with all of the upcoming premieres with our 2024 TV schedule.