UPDATE, August 1: Pluto TV is fleshing out some of the details of its new channels devoted to Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, which are both debuting today. The Jeopardy! channel will feature only episodes hosted by the late Alex Trebek and will draw from 33 of the 37 seasons he hosted between 1984 and 2021. The streamer will also program themed blocks featuring episodes from the Tournament of Champions, Battle of the Decades, and other Jeopardy! events. Meanwhile, Pluto’s Wheel of Fortune offering will be much more recent, only including episodes produced within the past five years. The streamer’s deal with Sony Pictures Television will make it the exclusive free-streaming home of the two shows for the next two years and give it access to 250 episodes of each show at launch, with a new batch of 250 episodes cycling in a year from now. As part of the licensing agreement, Sony has also struck a deal to develop game-show projects for Pluto sibling CBS Entertainment.
Original story follows.
Jeopardy! fans who enjoyed streaming past episodes of the series were more than a little bummed when, after a three-year run, the show suddenly disappeared from Netflix last summer. But fans’ long national nightmare is almost over: Free streamer Pluto TV has struck a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to launch a 24/7 channel devoted to vintage episodes of the studio’s long-running quizzer, Vulture has learned. And in a (daily) double dose of good news, Pluto is also adding another channel devoted to Sony’s equally celebrated Wheel of Fortune. The two virtual channels are both set to debut August 1.
Pluto plans to use Jeopardy! and Wheel as anchors for a significant expansion and consolidation of game-show content on the platform. Starting today, the ad-supported streamer will move its existing buzzer-beater channels (Buzzr, Game Show Central, vintage The Price Is Right, The Barker Years) out of the entertainment category and into a new game-show hub. They’ll be joined by a new channel debuting today featuring CBS’s Wayne Brady–hosted version of Let’s Make a Deal. Then on August 1, Wheel and Jeopardy! will move into the virtual neighborhood, giving Pluto a total of eight channels devoted to game shows.
Pluto and Sony are staying mum about the details of what exactly will be on offer with the new Wheel and Jeopardy! channels. Based on Pluto’s usual strategy with branded channels, it seems both will feature hundreds of library episodes of the shows, likely reaching back many years into their respective catalogs. That was also the understanding last October, when sources first told Vulture that Sony was talking to Pluto — and other ad-supported streamers — about licensing Jeopardy! episodes. At that point, industry insiders suggested Sony’s plan was to license older episodes of the series as well as ones from just a few years ago, similar to the content mix when the show was on Netflix. For now, however, Sony and Pluto also aren’t saying how deep into the vaults they’ll be reaching. (We will continue to pray for Wheel episodes from the days when episodes started with the words “Look at this studio!” and players got to go shopping for prizes, including a ceramic Dalmatian.)
Pluto’s deal is understood to give it exclusive streaming rights to Wheel and Jeopardy! within its universe of free, ad-supporting services. But if it wants, Sony is free to do a separate deal for the shows with a subscription-based streamer such as Netflix, Hulu, or even Pluto sibling Paramount+. (While Jeopardy! has been missing from Netflix since last August, there are still a grand total of 25 episodes of Wheel still hanging around on the streaming giant — for now.)
As for Pluto, the platform is unveiling its new game-show category today in conjunction with a larger lineup overhaul, including the debut of hubs devoted to daytime TV — think talkers like The Drew Barrymore Show and courtroom shows, including a new classic Judge Judy channel and food (Gordon Ramsay and Julia Child). Pluto, which has a global audience of more than 67 million monthly active users, is available free on most major streaming devices and smart TV models, as well as through a mobile app and via the web.