This Is How the Jeopardy! Writers Room Comes Up With All of the Questions

This Is How the Jeopardy! Writers Room Comes Up With All of the Questions

I get the feeling that for a lot of people trying to figure out how they come up with the Jeopardy questions for each show involves bringing together the worlds’ biggest eggheads that each have a head filled with some of the most outrageous trivia imaginable and throw them in a pot to see what gets picked and what doesn’t. As rudimentary as that sounds it’s not completely off the mark. In fact it’s a lot closer to the truth than you might realize.

The process is akin to a round table discussion in that eight writers are brought together around a library space in which they are allowed to come up with new and exciting questions that have hopefully never been posed before so that contestants have a chance at seeing something new. There is one head writer among them that assumes control of the process but for the most part they are allowed to work at their own pace and devise new questions that could possibly challenge the players and even create categories that could encompass several different questions. The group of writers work a regular nine to five shift even when the show isn’t airing so that they can keep up with the show and keep the line of questions coming.

Thanks to the fact that are are so many worthy categories for Jeopardy the writers almost never run out of ideas to use for categories, and this can lead to more and more questions that will be just as unique and in some cases difficult to answer. As most of us know by now a person has to be something of a trivia nerd in able to fully grasp the idea of Jeopardy and do reasonably well.

Typically the writers will assign seven clues to a category so that the head writer has the chance to take the best six. One he does that the process moves on to the researchers. These individuals are in effect the people that want to be writers but are required to begin at the bottom in order to work their way up. The show enjoys promoting people from within as much as possible. But after the researchers fact check and make sure everything is sound they send the clues back to the head writer who then assembles the clues into their categories and begins to make the game. There are typically five games made per day since that is how many that are taped.

After that comes the opportunity for the writers to look at the board again to make sure that everything is where it should be and that the clues are in the proper order. The harder clues need to be worth more obviously since they are more difficult to answer while the easier clues are worth less. After a few more tweaks by the bosses in charge of the show the board is set and ready to be used.

So instead of just throwing ideas around the process is actually quite intense and takes a little bit of time.


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