Footage of JAMES HOLZHAUER losing on “Jeopardy!” on Monday leaked ahead of time, and the producers are out for BLOOD.

They think they know who did it, but they’re not saying yet.  However, once they confirm the leaker’s identity, they plan on taking, quote, “very, very, very appropriate” action.

The funny thing is, it probably helped boost the show’s ratings.  “Jeopardy!” was already beating out pretty much everything in primetime, with viewership averaging more than 13 million people per episode.

But preliminary information suggests Monday’s episode was the highest-rated of James’ run . . . probably because everybody knew he was losing, and had to tune in to see how it was gonna go down.

On a related note, Uproxx has collected a bunch of people’s silly conspiracy theories about James’ loss . . . including the idea that he threw the game because his daughter wanted him to come home.

James’ response to that one is pretty classic.  He said, quote, “Sure, I could stick around and play a game that pays me $150,000 per hour, but I’d really rather get toys thrown at my crotch for free.”