|Created by||Scott Sternberg|
Created by Merv Griffin
|Directed by||Kevin McCarthy|
|Presented by||Bob Bergen|
|Theme music composer||Steve Kaplan|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|Executive producer(s)||Scott Sternberg, Harry Friedman|
|Running time||approx. 22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Scott Sternberg Productions/Columbia TriStar Television|
|Original channel||Game Show Network|
|Picture format||Standard definition|
|Original release||January 30, 1998– September 1, 2000|
Jep! is an American children's television game show, adapted from the quiz show Jeopardy! It aired first on Game Show Network (now known by its abbreviated name, "GSN") throughout the 1998–99 season, and then on Discovery Kids through late 2004. It was hosted by cartoon voice actor Bob Bergen, and created by Scott Sternberg who had earlier created Wheel 2000, a children's version of Wheel of Fortune. The show's production involved many of the daily syndicated Jeopardy! 's then-current personnel, including director Kevin McCarthy and four of the nine writers that the show employed at the time, and Alex Trebek, the main Jeopardy! series' host, served as Jep! 's creative consultant. Unlike the main Jeopardy! series, Jep! was taped at Stage 11 of the Sony Pictures Studios, rather than Stage 10.
Contestants on Jep! were young children aged 10 through 12, and the game's difficulty level was substantially lower than that of the standard Jeopardy! game – making the show similar, in a way, to "Kids Weeks" on the parent program, which were introduced later. The players competed for merchandise packages instead of monetary prizes, and as in the parent program's Super Jeopardy! specials, the clue values were in points rather than in dollars. Of the game's three rounds, the first round (the Jeopardy! round) became known as "Jep!", the second round (Double Jeopardy!) became "Hyper Jep!", and the third round (Final Jeopardy!) became "Super Jep!" There were five categories containing four clues apiece, and point values were randomly chosen by hitting a button. Jep! also featured a penalty system, in which three lights on each of the contestants' lecterns were designated "In Jeopardy!" lights which would turn on alongside the traditional deduction of points if the contestant answered a question incorrectly or failed to phrase their response in the form of a question; once the last of these lights turned on, the contestant's chair would recede behind a wall bringing the contestant with it, locking them out of gameplay for one clue. Furthermore, in addition to the traditional "Daily Doubles", Jep! also featured a "Jep! Prize" clue which would award a prize to the contestant who responded correctly to it (theirs to keep regardless of the game's outcome), and the "Jep! Squad", a team of children from various places in America who functioned as correspondents delivering video clues, much like the parent program's later "Clue Crew".
Steve Johnson of The Chicago Tribune rated Jep! with general favor, saying that Bergen was "mighty chipper, but in a tolerable way", but criticized the answers used on the show, saying they were "too easy". David Bianculli of New York Daily News wrote that "The purist in me would like to see Jep! without these Nickelodeon-style frills but even as is, it demands knowledge and is concerned with actual facts, so it deserves more credit than scorn."
The website Game Show Garbage later inducted Jep! into its list of "garbage" game shows, claiming that Sternberg "[ruined] yet another historic game show with unneeded junk". The site's reviewers criticized how significantly the show deviated from the adult version's design and format, Bergen's hosting style, and the prizes offered to the child contestants.
- Schwartz, David; Ryan, Steve; Wostbrock, Fred (1999). The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows (3 ed.). Facts on File, Inc. p. 115. ISBN 0-8160-3846-5.
- Johnson, Steve (6 February 1998). ""Jep!": Shouldn't that be "Jeop!"?". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Bianculli, David (30 January 1998). "NEW GAME SHOW 'JEP!' PLACES KIDS IN 'JEOPARDY!'". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 January 2015.