“Jeopardy!” executive producer Harry Friedman vowed to take “very, very, very appropriate” action against the person who leaked a video clip from Monday’s show. The clip began going viral Sunday, spoiling the big reveal that 32-day champion James Holzhauer was defeated before he could break Ken Jennings’ all-time record for winnings on the show.
The Washington Post reports that producers “have a good idea of what happened.” The paper quotes Friedman saying: “We think we know where and who and how” the clip leaked.
Friedman and other producers learned about the leaked clip on Sunday afternoon. “Somebody alerted us that they had seen it on YouTube. By the time we saw it, it already had 2,000 views,” he told The Post.
The footage spread via social media, and soon after Holzhauer’s loss was confirmed by an early airing of “Jeopardy!” Monday morning in Montgomery, Ala., mainstream media outlets picked up the story.
The Post quotes Friedman saying: “I feel bad for the viewers. It’s not fair. I’m not sure what’s gained by doing something like that, other than some malicious intent. It doesn’t really benefit anybody.”
But the report adds that “given that Holzhauer’s streak happened when spoilers of all kinds run rampant on social media, Friedman was grateful the results weren’t leaked much earlier. After all, although contestants have to sign nondisclosure agreements, the hundreds in the studio audience are simply asked not to tell the results.”
Said Friedman: “We were pleased and surprised that nothing leaked out before this past weekend. I think that speaks for the respect that people in the studio audience have for the show. That part of it was very much appreciated.”