Amid Hollywood strikes, Ken Jennings to start ‘Jeopardy!”s 40th season Monday night

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With his co-host Mayim Bialik still sitting out her hosting duties because of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, Ken Jennings will be behind the Jeopardy! podium once again for the season 40 debut Monday, September 11.

The show will return with the Jeopardy! Second Chance competition, in which 27 former contestants will get another opportunity to follow in Jennings’ footsteps as a Jeopardy! champion.

The winner of each week’s shows will take home $35,000 and get a ticket to the Jeopardy! Champions Wildcard competition, the quiz show’s producers explain.

The Wildcard is a new format making its debut this season, according to the announcement. “For the first time ever, players who won one, two, or three games in Seasons 37 and 38 but did not qualify for the Tournament of Champions in those seasons will be invited back to compete for a berth” in the next Tournament of Champions, which begin airing Monday, October 2.

According to the show’s producers, season 40 will also see a bump in the prize money awarded to second- and third-place finishers: Second place will now go home with $3,000, while third place will leave with $2,000.

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