Tuesday, 18 April 2017
663 Jeopardy !
First viewed : April 1984
When we fret over American cultural imperialism it's a comforter to remember that this quiz show, a TV institution over there, has never really taken off here despite three attempts.
The first, and the only one I ever saw, was on Channel 4 after Countdown , hosted by ex- New Faces host Derek Hobson and a milestone on his personal road to post-fame obscurity. The point of Jeopardy ! was that you were given an answer and then had to construct an appropriate question which fit.
I thought it was a pretty stupid format and it looked like the UK contestants thought so too as they were constantly sidestepping the question framing with Hobson, his patience clearly fraying , having to snappily remind them of the requirement. A typical exchange would go :
CLUE : Red , white and blue
CONTESTANT : The colours of the Union Jack
HOBSON : What are the colours of the Union Jack !!
It made for very uncomfortable viewing and it's not surprising it was yanked after two seasons in June 1984.
Still it sailed on in the US regardless so ITV tried again in 1990 with hosts Chris Donat and then Steve Jones. This time it lasted four seasons though it passed me by entirely. Two years after the ITV show ended Sky 3, did their own version hosted by Paul Ross thus providing another compelling reason not to watch it.