The taping of the first Jeopardy! pilot takes place at the now-defunct TAV Celebrity Theater, on Vine Street in Hollywood, California. This Jeopardy! episode never actually aired in syndication.
Pilot 1 is announced by Jay Stewart, who also announced on Let's Make a Deal and later all game shows produced by Barry & Enright Productions from 1977-1981. At the time, he was also the announcer for $ale of the Century. Johnny Gilbert will be taking over as the announcer on the second and final Jeopardy! pilot on January 9, 1984.
The theme music is "January, February, March", written by show creator Merv Griffin, which had earlier been the opening theme of the 1978-79 revival, The All-New Jeopardy!. The music was used when the show went away and came back from commercial breaks, which is "Night Walk", a prize cue written by the late Merv Griffin for the syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune was used.
The first pilot set now consists of two giant PCs with smaller PCs for contestants podiums with a blue background, and a gray, red-bordered set piece with the Jeopardy! logo as a contestant backdrop. Contestants are now standing, instead of sitting, and Alex Trebek enters from the "Disk Drive" of the clue board and stands at the raised decimal key on the number pad at the base of the clue board.
The PCs on the set pay homage to the technology era of the 1980s.
The original yellow scrambled letter logo is still in use on this pilot.
In the opening credits, the Jeopardy! logo appears in red, superimposed over a whiteboard illustration on a navy-blue background. Jay Stewart's opening spiel is "Now entering the studio are today's contestants." And then he says: "From [city/state], [first contestant's name]. From [city/state], [second contestant's name]. And... from [city/state], [third contestant's name]. These three contestants will compete today on Jeopardy! And now, here's the host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek!".
At the beginning of each round, a shot of the contestants at their podiums behaves like an opening door which opens to reveal the shot of the game board.
An electronic sound effect is used which is much different from that used on the eventual series.
This pilot's board retains the late Art Fleming era's use of pull cards.
The category and clue cards are the same as those on The All-New Jeopardy!.
The same $25-$125 values seen on The All-New Jeopardy! are in place in the Jeopardy! round and doubled to $50-$250 during Double Jeopardy! However, the dollar value cards here are yellow on black backgrounds and use bolder text.
The Daily Double card is the same one used on The All-New Jeopardy!.
For the Daily Doubles themselves, the card showing the clue is initially displayed on camera.
The Final Jeopardy! segment is displayed in yellow mixed-case text in Helvetica Bold.
The contestants write Final Jeopardy responses and wagers on slates, rather than light pens and monitors. The monitors didn't display their names; instead, these are shown in white atop the contestant podiums above their scores, which themselves are initially displayed using eggcrate displays, as on The All-New Jeopardy!.
At the end of the first pilot, the 1975-1983 Merv Griffin Productions logo appeared onscreen, with the text reading "A MERV GRIFFIN PRODUCTION" above it in a font resembling Impact. It then fades out, at which point the words "Distributed by KING WORLD, Inc." fade in at the bottom of the set in a bold version of Helvetica. Jay Stewart announces, "This has been a Merv Griffin Production, distributed by King World, Inc."