Jeopardy! GOAT Champions Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter will share the role of “Chaser” on ABC’s version of The Chase, a game show on which contestants answer trivia questions, trying to get more questions right than the Chaser does.
This is a perfect way to capitalize on the popularity of the Jeopardy champions, but also move them outside the Jeopardy umbrella. It will expand ABC’s primetime game show slate with a newer format, not a classic game show like Match Game or Supermarket Sweep.
The first time I heard of this possibility was in mid-January, when the tournament was airing, and BuzzerBlog tweeted, “while another Jeopardy GOAT tournament doesn’t make sense really, The Chase with these three is just sitting there.” That turned out to be either prescient or gave someone the idea. This summer, Deadline reported that the three were in talks to star in the show, noting that “ABC won the project in a competitive situation and was able to leverage ABC talent.”
Today, ABC said in its press release announcing the show that Jennings, Holzhauer, and Rutter will “take turns serving as the Chaser.” The View co-host Sara Haines will host this new version, which ABC described like this:
“…a heart-racing quiz show where three competitors must pit their wits and face off against the Chaser, a ruthless quiz genius determined to stop them from winning cash prizes. Each hour-long episode is a fast-paced battle of brain power, where contestants are challenged to think faster than they ever thought possible to answer up to 166 questions across all topics.”
The cable network GSN first brought The Chase to the US in 2013, airing four seasons that concluded in 2015. Their version renamed “The Chaser” as “The Beast,” who was Mark Labbett (who was one of several Chasers on the ITV version). Brook Burns hosted.
I really enjoyed the GSN version when I watched, and it’s a fun and fast-paced format—though I really think it’s saddled with a bad title. It sounds like it should be an action-adventure reality competition, like The CW’s Capture or Fox’s Ultimate Tag, not trivia and a face-off with a super-skilled or super-smart person.