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‘Jeopardy! Masters’ Will Pit Current Top-Ranked Champs in New ABC Competition (TV News Roundup)

Ken Jennings Jeopardy
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

ABC has picked “Jeopardy! Masters,” a new primetime version of the game show that will pit six of its top-ranked, current champions in a Champions League style event. The goal: To crown the a new “Jeopardy! Masters” champion. Ken Jennings will host the series, from Sony Pictures TV.

The following contestants will be the first-ever “Jeopardy! Masters”: Matt Amodio, whose 38-game winning streak spanned seasons 37 and 38, holds the No. 3 spots for both all-time consecutive games won and highest winnings in regular season play ($1,518,601); Sam Buttrey, who became the 2021 Professors Tournament champion; Andrew He, a season 38 five-day champion; James Holzhauer, who held a 32-game streak in season 35 and is No. 4 on the all-time consecutive wins list, setting the single-game winnings record with a $131,127 score; Mattea Roach, the youngest contestant currently ranked in the Top 5 for all-time consecutive games won; and Amy Schneider, whose 40-game streak in season 38 landed her at No. 2 on the “Jeopardy!” all-time consecutive wins list.

Each hour-long episode will feature the six highest-ranked current “Jeopardy!” contestants, with two high-stakes games. Michael Davies executive produces.

Also in today’s TV news:

FIRST LOOKS

CBS’ “Lingo” features host and exec producer RuPaul Charles as contestants use simple words to win large cash prizes — and Variety has the first look.

The latest U.S. version of “Lingo” comes after it hit it big in the UK in February 2021 on ITV, where it was the highest-rated game show launch in its period in nearly two decades.

Here, contestants are in the final round in order to make it to the “Lingo Showdown” to try for an extra $50,000 prize. The show premieres Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET. Watch the first look below.

RENEWALS

Syndicated hits “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” have been renewed for five more years on the ABC-owned TV stations. The new deal will take both game shows through the 2027-28 season, with “Wheel of Fortune” through its 45th season and “Jeopardy!” through its 44th season.

Per CBS Media Ventures, “Jeopardy!” is averaging 9 million viewers weekly, while “Wheel of Fortune” is averaging 8.3 million weekly viewers. “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” currently air on several ABC stations, including WABC, New York; KABC, Los Angeles; WLS, Chicago; and WPVI, Philadelphia.

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ABC unscripted shows “Claim to Fame,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” and “Press Your Luck” have been renewed for new seasons. Season premiere dates will be announced at a later time, according to the network.

“Claim to Fame” returns for its second season, with hosts Kevin and Frankie Jonas. The competition show became the No. 1 broadcast program in the Monday 10 p.m. hour last summer with adults 18-49., according to ABC.

“Celebrity Family Feud” will return for Season 9 with Emmy Award-winning host Steve Harvey. The series ranked No. 1 among the network’s total viewers last summer.

“Press Your Luck” has been renewed for its fifth season with host Elizabeth Banks, who is also executive producing the series. The game show was No. 1 in the Thursday 8 p.m. hour last summer among total viewers.

PROGRAMMING

Freeform has picked up “Love Trip: Paris” to series. The unscripted dating series follows four American girls — Caroline, Rose, Lacy and Josielyn — who move into a penthouse in Paris to each find a potential romantic partner. The series is a production of Fox Alternative Entertainment and AH Production/Satisfaction Group, with Susan House as executive producer and Matt Rogers as narrator. “Love Trip: Paris” airs Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. ET with a two-episode premiere.

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“Single Drunk Female” Season 2 will debut on April 12 at 10 p.m. ET on Freeform, with the 10-episode second season available on Hulu and on-demand platforms the following day. The second season focuses on Samantha Fink (Sofia Black-D’Elia), who’s been sober for a year and a half, as she navigates a new chapter of her life. In addition to Black-D’Elia, the series stars Ally Sheedy, Sasha Compere, Lily Mae Harrington, Garrick Bernard and Ian Gomez. “Single Drunk Female” is a production of 20th Television and is executive produced by Jenni Konner, Daisy Gardner, Simone Finch, John Riggi, Phil Traill, Nora Silver and Leslye Headland.

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“Cruel Summer” will return for its second season this summer on Freeform, featuring a new cast and mystery. Set in a waterfront town in the Pacific Northwest, the next chapter of the anthology series follows the complicated friendship between Megan (Sadie Stanley), Isabella (Lexi Underwood) and Megan’s best friend Luke (Griffin Gluck). Additional stars include KaDee Strickland, Lisa Yamada and Sean Blakemor, with Paul Adelstein recurring. “Cruel Summer” comes from studio Entertainment One and is created by Bert V. Royal. Showrunner Elle Triedman executive produces alongside Bill Purple, Tia Napolitano and Iron Ocean Productions’ Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple.

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ABC’s hit “Singalong” franchise is returning with “Schoolhouse Rock! 50th Anniversary Singalong,” and Ryan Seacrest is also back as host. The fifth installment of the “Singalong” franchise will air Wednesday Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. on ABC. The following day the program will stream on Hulu, and at a later date it will be released on Disney+. Performers on this one-hour installment include the Black Eyed Peas, Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert, Fortune Feimster, Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen, Julianne Hough, Kal Penn, The Muppets, NE-YO and Raven Symoné.

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“Grey’s Anatomy” lead character Meredith Grey will say goodbye to Seattle and Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Ellen Pompeo’s final episode airing Thursday, Feb. 23 at 9 p.m.. In the upcoming episode “I’ll Follow the Sun,” doctors plan a surprise for Grey’s departure, and Nick talks to the doctor about their relationship.

The episode is directed by Debbie Allen and written by Krista Vernoff. Shonda Rhimes created and executive produces “Greys Anatomy,” with Vernoff as showrunner and executive producer. Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Debbie Allen, Meg Marinis, Zoanne Clack and Ellen Pompeo also serve as executive producers. “Grey’s Anatomy” is in its 19th season on ABC.

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Milo Ventimiglia and Catherine Haena Kim starrer ABC’s “The Company You Keep” will debut Sunday Feb. 19 at 10 p.m. Con man Charlie and undercover CIA officer Emma wind up in a night of passion and a collision course for their professions. The characters have to come to terms with lies they have told to avoid big-time consequences.

“The Company You Keep” is based off of Korean Broadcasting System’s “My Fellow Citizens.” The series features William Fichtner (Leo), Tim Chiou (David), Freda Foh Shen (Grace), James Saito (Joseph), Sarah Wayne Callies (Birdie), Felisha Terrell (Daphne) and Polly Draper (Fran), as well as of course Ventimiglia (Charlie) and Kim (Emma).

Julia Cohen and Phil Klemmer are executive producers and co-showrunners, as well as Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff of DiVide Pictures, Jon M. Chu and Caitlin Foito of Electric Somewhere and Todd Harthan and Lindsay Goffman of Gratitude Productions. Deanna Harris of DiVide Pictures serves as a producer.

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In celebration of “General Hospital” and its 60th anniversary on April 1, ABC will present the cast and crew with a stage dedication on the Prospect Studios lot.

The ABC daytime soap opera will kick off its anniversary programming at the end of March with a special episode honoring the late Sonya Eddy, who played head nurse Epiphany Johnson. The programming also features the return of the Nurses Ball and Jane Elliot, who will reprise her role as Tracy Quartermaine in April.

“General Hospital” was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. Frank Valentini serves as executive producer and showrunner on the series, with Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor as co-head writers.

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ABC’s “Not Dead Yet” will make its debut with a two-episode premiere on Feb. 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The series follows Nell Serrano (played by Gina Rodriguez) as she attempts to restart the life and career she left behind five years ago. When she lands a job writing obituaries, she begins to seek life advice from the dead people she’s writing about. Hannah Simone, Lauren Ash, Rick Glassman, Josh Banday and Angela Gibbs also star.

Creators Casey Johnson and David Windsor serve as executive producers alongside Rodriguez, Dean Holland and Wonderland Sound and Vision’s McG, Mary Viola and Corey Marsh. The series is produced by 20th Television.

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The final season of “A Million Little Things” is set to premiere Feb. 8 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

“A Million Little Things” stars David Giuntoli, Romany Malco, Allison Miller, Christina Moses, Grace Park, James Roday Rodriguez, Stephanie Szostak, Tristan Byon, Lizzy Greene and Chance Hurstfield.

Terrence Coli serves as showrunner, while creator DJ Nash executive produces alongside Aaron Kaplan and Brian Morewitz. Joanna Kerns serves as co-executive producer on the series from ABC Signature/Kapital Entertainment.

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“Harry: The Interview,” a one-hour TV special with Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex airs Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and will be available for streaming on Paramount+.

The original interview aired in the U.K. Jan. 8 and sees the Duke of Sussex sharing excerpts of his recent memoir, “Spare,” and reflecting on life in the royal family with ITV journalist Tom Bradby. Topics covered range from the prince’s marriage to Meghan Markle to the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

Paramount+ will also offer an exclusive, extended version of the interview at the conclusion of the live broadcast, around 9 p.m. ET. The program is being produced by ITN Productions and See It Now Studios in the U.S.

TRAILERS

Apple released a trailer for its new stop motion series “Shape Island,” based on the bestselling picture book series “The Shapes Triology” by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

Serious Square, intrepid Circle and tricky Triangle learn to navigate friendships and their differences all while located on a charming island. The trailer introduces the shapes, along with their individual strengths, weaknesses and differences. The narrator explains: “They’re three different shapes…very different…but friendship makes them fit together beautifully.”

Yvette Nicole Brown of “Disenchanted” narrates the series, as well as Harvey Guillén of “What We Do in the Shadows,” Scott Adsit of “30 Rock” and Gideon Adlon of “Blockers” voice Square, Triangle and Circle, respectively.

Book authors Barnett and Klassen co-created the series and serve as executive producers along with Emmy-winning producer Kelli Bixler, Drew Hodges of “Tumble Leaf” and Ryan Pequin, who is also head writer.

The series joins an extensive slate of kid and family content coming to Apple TV+, including “El Deafo,” “Lovely Little Farm” and “Duck & Goose.”

“Shape Island” premieres globally Jan. 20. Watch the trailer below.

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Freeform has released the official trailer for “The Watchful Eye.” The mystery series follows Elena Santos, a young woman working as a live-in nanny for an affluent family in Manhattan, where she discovers that everyone in the building has deadly secrets and ulterior motives.

“The Watchful Eye” is created by Julie Durk, who also serves as consultant, with Emily Fox as showrunner and executive producer. Ryan Seacrest Productions’ Ryan Seacrest, Nina Wass, Andrea Shay and Jeffrey Reiner executive produce.

“The Watchful Eye” premieres Jan. 30 at 9 p.m. ET with a two-episode premiere. Watch the trailer below.

STREAMING

Roundtable Entertainment and Cinedigm revealed plans today for an upcoming collaboration with GoPro, Inc. to launch the GoPro Channel as a free, ad-supported streaming service accessible across affiliated TV, mobile, web and third-party platforms.

“GoPro strives to be a force for positivity, celebrating all things awesome while inspiring people to pursue their passions,” said Rick Loughery, vice president of global marketing and communications at GoPro. “We’re excited for Roundtable and Cinedigm to help us amplify this mission by expanding the reach of our content catalogue to new audiences.”

Programming on the GoPro Channel ranges from archived sports and lifestyle videos created using GoPro on YouTube as well as all-new series produced by Roundtable.

“We are so thrilled to partner with GoPro to serve viewers with some of the most unique and compelling sports content ever made,” said President and CEO of Roundtable Dominic Ianno.

EXECUTIVES

World Builder Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based management and production company, announced the hiring of two new managers on Jan. 11 in an effort to expand across all departments.

Stephany Burns is joining the company’s talent department, having spent 10 years as the head commercial/print and voiceover agent at Avalon Artists Group. Clients following Burns to World Builder Entertainment include Aileen Quinn (“Annie”), Dan Perrault (“American Vandal”), Olivia Hack (“The Brady Bunch” films), Tye-Lee (“The Last Airbender”), Kinna McInroe (“Office Space”), Merrick McCartha (“This is Us”), Clayton Farris (“Scream Queens”), Molly Jackson (“Blaze and the Monster Machine”), Alicyn Packard (“Rugrats”) and Gabrielle Stone, the actress-turned-author of “Eat, Pray, #FML.”

William Deasey will also join World Builder Entertainment in a managerial role following five years at Zero Gravity Management, where he worked as director of development for over a year. In his previous position, Deasey’s day-to-day responsibilities encompassed managing development and production teams from conception to completion and pitching projects at the studio level.

“The growth of our company validates our overarching strategy of building a home for a spectrum of talent to thrive and flourish creatively,” said Marc Manus, one of World Builder Entertainment’s co-founders. “Stephany and William bring great energy and talent to World Builder. We look forward to their contributions and welcome them to our team.”

RATINGS

Crime drama series “Will Trent” debuted as ABC’s most-watched series premiere this season. Per ABC, the premiere telecast of “Will Trent” tripled its initial live and same day adult 18-49 rating after just three days of multiplatform viewing to hit a 1.15 rating and grew to 7.4 million total viewers. The show is also ABC’s No. 1 series debut on linear platforms this season in total viewers and adults 18-49, tying with “The Rookie: Feds.”