What Is ‘The Chase,’ the New Game Show Reuniting the ‘Jeopardy!’ GOATs?
If you’ve ever imagined competing against Jeopardy!’s greatest-ever contestants — Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer — now might be your chance. After Alex Trebek hosted the trivia champs for the primetime event series Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time in January, ABC is bringing the trio back to rob contestants of their hard-earned money in the upcoming game show The Chase.
The yet-unscheduled series, hosted by Sara Haines, is “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,” ABC explains in a press release. “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.”
In the show, Holzhauer, Jennings, and Rutter will take turns as the Chaser. “But now they’re no longer pursuing each other,” ABC adds. “They’re chasing you!”
The format originated in the U.K., where The Chase has been airing on ITV since 2009 as one of the network’s biggest daytime hits.
And The Chase crossed the pond once already: GSN aired four seasons of an American version between 2013 and 2015, with Brooke Burns as host and Mark Labbett—one of the stars of the U.K. original—as the Chaser. The show earned two Daytime Emmy Awards, for Outstanding Game Show and Outstanding Game Show Host.
Coincidentally, Holzhauer competed on the GSN version in 2014, earning more than $58,000 and giving Labbett “the worst beating I’ve ever had,” as the latter told The Atlantic five years later.
“I’ve got to give Jeopardy! immense credit, and The Chase U.S.A.,” Labbett added. “In Britain or Australia, James would not have made it onto television, because he’s just too damn good. They would never have him on.”
Bob Boden, an executive producer on the GSN version, said he and his colleagues were “dumbfounded” by Holzhauer’s success on the show—so much so that they had the professional gambler audition to become a Chaser. (According to multiplereports, Rutter also served as Chaser for a 2012 Fox pilot for The Chase.)
Now The Chase is coming to American broadcast television for the first time. In July, Deadline reported that ABC had won the project in a “competitive situation” and was able to leverage ABC talent to sweeten the deal.
That ABC talent might be Haines — who cohosted ABC’s oft-renamed third hour of Good Morning America before rejoining the network’s daytime talk show The View earlier in September — or it might be Jennings, Holzhauer, and Rutter, who helped Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time earn gangbuster ratings for the Alphabet Network in January.
Even before the end of the GOAT championship, ABC alternative head Robert Mills was eager to get back in business with the trio.
“Whether it’s something with Jeopardy! or not, certainly I would argue these three guys are the biggest stars in primetime right now,” Mills told Deadline at the time. “Is there a different game? I don’t know. But you can’t look at this and not acknowledge the impact that they have had over the 20 years and this past week without saying, ‘OK. how do we tap into it?’ When you look at [the success of the primetime specials], you say, ‘We have got to do something, something that taps into what these guys are.’”
Now, as they say, The Chase is on! Stay tuned for a premiere date, trivia buffs…