Jeopardy! (found unaired pilots of game show; 1983-1984)

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A high quality screenshot of the second pilot.

Status: Found

Date found: 12 Mar 2010

Found by: Hondo20132

Jeopardy! is an American quiz show that was created by talk show host and media mogul Merv Griffin that first premiered in March 1964 on NBC and was hosted by Art Fleming. The show ended in January 1975 but returned for a short time in 1978 before permanently returning in 1984 and was hosted by Alex Trebek until his death on November 8th, 2020. The show starting January 11th, 2021 will have rotating guest hosts. For it's 1984 revival (like it's 1964 predecessor) two pilots were shot in order to pitch the show to Kingworld (one in September 1983[1] and one in early 1984).[2]


The format is exactly the same is it was in 1964 and in the current series. Three contestants compete in giving questions to answers in six categories, if you give the correct question to the answer who get the dollar amount that answer represents, but if you give the wrong question to the answer the dollar amount that the answer represents gets taken away from your score. Somewhere on the board is a daily double, where you wager what every you have in your current score and you give the correct question your wager gets added to your score but if you give the wrong question, the wager gets taken from your score. This happens twice before Final Jeopardy hits where you are given a category and you write down how much money you wager based on the category, then you are given the answer and you have 30 seconds to write down the correct question. Just like last couple rounds, correct question adds what you wager but a wrong question takes what you wagered gets taken from your score.


The 1983 pilot was similar to the 1978 version but with a 1980s spin. Jay Stewart from Let's Make A Deal was the announcer. The theme was from the 1978 version. The board did have the pull card technique that the previous versions had and the board and contestants area resemble a 1980s personal computer. Trebek's entrance from the board resemble a disk drive compartment. The logo was taken from the short-lived 1978 version. The dollar amounts were similar to the ones in the 1978 version (Round 1: $25 $50 $75 $100 $125, Round 2: $50 $100 $150 $200 $250). The Daily Double card was carried over from the 1978 version.

The 1984 pilot bares more a striking resemblance to the first season of the aired series. The theme was a synthesized longer version of the 30 seconds music. Johnny Gilbert was the announcer of the pilot and continues to be to this very day. The set was given a massive makeover. The board now has 30 monitors instead of 30 pull cards. The categories would light up if that category was still in play. The set had a new logo where the show's title (in Gyparody font) is in huge neon lettering and would light up one letter at a time during the show's intro and coming in and out of commercial breaks. [3]


The pilots were not seen by the public for quite a long time. A picture of the 1984 pilot was used in the January[4] and February[5] 1984 issues of Broadcasting Magazine and a slow down clip of it was used in a promo.[6] Other than that, the pilots had never surfaced.

Resurfacing and Aftermath

On March 12th, 2010, YouTuber "Hondo20132" uploaded the 1983 pilot in two parts in very poor quality. Three days later he uploaded the 1984 pilot in four parts and also in poor quality. Throughout the decade, the videos would get blocked worldwide by Sony, making them partially lost for quite some time. In June 2019, Jeopardy! (which was added to Netflix in 2018) added a collection of season premieres to be viewed on Netflix. Among these was a high quality restored version of the 1984 pilot (mistakenly labeled the season one premiere),[7] making it the first time since the "Hondo20132" videos were blocked, that the pilot has surfaced in it's entirety. Sadly, the collection was taken off by the fall, making the pilot unavailable again. On November 8th, 2020, YouTube user "The Guy With The Games" uploaded a better quality version of the 1983 pilot as a tribute to Trebek who passed away earlier that day, sadly it was privated a day later. However the pilot again in high quality reappeared on Dailymotion by user "Chuck D" along with the 1984 pilot in a better quality than the "Hondo20132" upload. The pilots can now be viewed online.


The 1983 pilot.
The 1984 pilot.

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