BOSTON: Famed game show Jeopardy is currently touring the country as part of a PR program to pull in viewers.
After 15 years, Jeopardy is still popular, but ratings have decreased in recent years, so producers decided to film a handful of episodes from remote locations. 'It is a PR tactic which works well for consumer and high-tech companies,' said a show insider, 'so why not a TV show.'
Last week marked the viewing finale of two weeks worth of episodes taped in Boston. The show is also filming in Washington DC and Berkeley, CA, and will film from remote locations twice a year. Jeopardy's next road trip will be to Chicago in April.
The promotions and technical team spent a year planning the remote filming.
The $1.5 million cost covered a new set in Boston, lighting equipment and rent of the Wang Theatre.
Boston affiliate WHDH assisted in promoting the tour by linking with retail partner Dunkin' Donuts, placing counter cards with tear-off entry forms at several hundred stores. Those wanting to watch a live taping of the show mailed in the forms, requesting free tickets. Only 16,000 or so tickets were available and Jeopardy received one of the highest numbers of requests in its history - 108,000 envelopes, each with up to four tickets.
'This is primarily a way for people to come and have a Jeopardy experience and see what goes on during taping,' said executive producer Harry Friedman.
'It has a good public relations effect. People are talking about the show in upbeat terms, and that's something you can't get with ratings alone.'.