Jeopardy! History Wiki
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Season 13 (1996-1997)​​[]

Season Changes[]

  • Johnny's opening catchphrase until Season 16, was changed to say: "From the Sony Pictures Studios, this is Jeopardy!".
  • The sound of the studio audience chattering had returned, but it was removed after the sushi bar set was introduced.
    • The laser swooshing sound was also removed from the top of the show once the sushi bar set debuted.
  • The opening credits have changed to a computer-animated CGI flyover of the Sony Pictures Studios complex:
    • During the first two months of this season, the globe intro remained the same, as it was in Season 11.
    • When the sushi bar set debuted, the monitor zooms out, passing through the dollar figures popping in, and the Jeopardy! logo at the end. Then, the Jeopardy! logo zooms forward to reveal the new set. And from that point moving forward, the opening graphics changed with each new season.
    • The closed captioning bug returned to the opening credits.
  • This season is both the last season where Johnny said "This is Johnny Gilbert speaking. Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin", and the first season where Johnny said "Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin", which remained in use until the December 17, 1999 episode.
  • This is the last season where George Vosburgh is the producer, as he retired after the season ended, with Harry Friedman taking over the following season.
  • On early episodes of this season:
    • The show still had the closing animations between the host and the day's champion.
    • Johnny said: "From the Sony Studios, this is Jeopardy!".
    • The show still used the 1991-1996 grid set.
    • The show's graphics from Seasons 11 and 12 were still used.
    • The contestant podium monitors still turned red for Double Jeopardy!.
    • The studio still remained red during the closing credits.
    • The audience chatter and the swooshing sound were still heard at the top of the show.
    • The show's logo still appeared in the copyright card.
  • On later episodes of this season, the closing animations between the host and the day's winners are dropped. The sponsor list and the closing credits appeared over different angles of the set, as well as shots of the host and the contestants.
  • This season is both the last season to use the 1991-1996 grid set, and the first season to use the 1996-2002 sushi bar set.
  • This is the last full season where the set changed from blue to red for the Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! segments.
  • This is also the last full season to have the dollar amounts popping in to the monitors at the start of the Double Jeopardy! round.
  • This is the last season to use the 1992-1997 bongo theme, and the 1984-1997 "Think!" music in the Final Jeopardy! segments.
  • This is the last season to have the contestant podium microphones. Starting in the next season, the contestants wear clip-on microphones; however, Alex ceases to use a podium mic after the set change.
  • This is the last season where 5-time champions simply retired undefeated without a bonus prize.
  • The font for the contestant introductions changed to Compacta-D at the beginning of the season, with the contestants' names in the introduction rendered in cycle case for the first two months only. The copyright card appeared over a shot of the set.
  • After Johnny's catchphrase, the KingWorld logo appears, followed by the Columbia TriStar Television logo.
  • The main theme plays over the KingWorld logo.
  • For the first two weeks of this season only, the contestant interview segment continued after the Jeopardy! round is completed. After that point, that segment is moved back to being held after the first break, where it had been before Season 9, where it has been since. When the move is made, Alex now stands near the contestant podiums.
  • Columbia TriStar Television changed its logo on later episodes of this season. It is changed to the Columbia Torch Lady zooming away from the viewer, and the TriStar Pegasus is different and flying across, and the clouds on the second box zoom away slowly and the background is a blue cloudy sky, and a light blue background. Also, the boxes and text were in navy blue.
  • When the season kicked off, the contestants' names and the champion's total winnings were changed to Compacta-D. However, on early episodes, Korinna was still retained in all other applications.
  • On later episodes of this season, the font for the sponsor list and the closing credits was changed to Compacta-D, while the contestant plug and the Final Jeopardy! segments were changed to Clarendon.

September 1996[]

  • Season 13 of Jeopardy! kicks off on September 2, 1996.
  • On the September 6, 1996 episode, Bernie Cullen retires undefeated with $63,102.
  • On the September 19, 1996 episode, Lucien Schmit retires with $36,982 despite losing his fifth game.

October 1996[]

November 1996[]

  • Starting with the November 4, 1996 episode, the sponsor list moved to the bottom of the screen and changed to Compacta-D. However, the text used for clues as they appear on the monitors, where they still used Korinna to this day. The phrase "Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin" is heard for the first time. This remained in use until the December 17, 1999 episode.
  • The November 8, 1996 episode is the last appearance of the grid set. The grid set lasted for 6 seasons, and 1,200 shows. On Monday, we'll come back with a brand new set. On this episode:
  • At the beginning of the episode, and before the Final Jeopardy! segment; Alex explained that the grid set was used for the last time.
  • At the end of the episode, Alex took home the microphone and the sheets from the podium, and then, a preview of the sushi bar was shown during Celebrity Jeopardy!.
    • Celebrity Jeopardy! is held from November 11-15, 1996.
      • Beverly Sills, John Mahoney, and Laura Innes compete on Monday.
      • Melissa Gilbert, Issac Mizrahi, and Sandra Bernhard compete on Tuesday.
      • Carl Lewis, Jon Lovitz, and Matthew Fox compete on Wednesday.
      • Brett Butler, Buzz Aldrin, and Eartha Kitt compete on Thursday.
      • Robert Loggia, Renee Taylor, and Alicia Witt compete on Friday.
  • The November 11, 1996 episode is also the first one to use the sushi bar set. The new set was designed by production designer Naomi Slodki, and remained in use until the November 8, 2002 episode.
    • Alex made his entrance by walking down a tiny staircase.
    • The set consisted of wood paneling with columns at each corner.
    • There are glass windows supported by wooden frames behind the contestant podiums.
    • The 9-foot Jeopardy! logo was emblazoned on the sliding doors, consisting of "P" and "A" through which Alex made his entrance by walking down a small staircase; The glass backdrop consisted of a darker shade of pink, but it was backlit in red with the grid in purple.
    • The contestant podiums and the host podium gained a new look.
    • The game board consisted of a wood paneling backdrop, and the stage floor consisted of a marble circle with a golden border on top to match the set's backdrop. The game board used a similar-looking, but not the same monitors as the grid set; the sushi bar set consisted of Barco SCM2850 28" monitors, with the video wall processor upgrading to a PicBloc 3 and a Chyron Infinit! with intelligent interface for graphics generation. The contestant podium monitors were upgraded to the Sony PVM 2950.
    • The incandescent 7-segment display for the scores fabricated from Vista Electronics were retained, however new drivers were designed and fabricated for them. The scoring system processor was upgraded and new control software was written.
    • Alex uses his clip-on mic only now.
  • Also on the November 11, 1996 episode:
    • The celebrity contestants that day were Laura Innes, John Mahoney, and Beverly Sills.
    • The categories in the first round: "Let's Visit Lichtenstein", "Celebrity Astrology", "The Elements", "1996 Olympic Gold Medalists", "The Female of the Species", and "The "A" List".
    • The contestant podium monitors turned red for the last time.
    • The show's set stayed red in the closing credits for the last time.
    • Beginning with this episode and continuing until the end of this season, the first 5 seconds of the theme song were truncated; and the theme simply faded in.
    • The audience was no longer heard at the top of the show, and the closing animations between the host and the day's winners were used for the last time.
    • The swooshing sound effect was also removed from the beginning.
  • Starting on the November 12, 1996 episode, the show's set reverted back to blue for the closing credits, and the contestant podium monitors remained blue throughout the entire episode.
    • The categories in the Double Jeopardy! round: "The 19th Century", "Annual Events", "Famous Women", "Shakespeare", "World Capitals", and "Business & Industry".
    • The Final Jeopardy! category is "French Novelists".
    • Gone are the closing animations between the host and the day's winners in favor of different angles of the set, and shots of the host and the contestants.
  • On the November 13, 1996 episode, all three celebrity male contestants wound up with $0 at the end of the show.
  • The Tournament of Champions airs from November 18-29, 1996.
    • On the November 18, 1996 episode, the white lights on the contestant podiums start illuminating as they didn't do so during Celebrity Jeopardy!, During that time, the timer lights signified who rang in first.

December 1996[]

  • The movie clip from the December 6, 1996 episode, was featured in the 1999 film Baby Geniuses.
  • On the December 25, 1996 episode, the "Merry Christmas" banner can be seen behind a Christmas tree, with the show's logo in black.

January 1997[]

  • On the January 7, 1997 episode, Claudia Perry retires with $45,303 despite losing her fifth game. She competed early on the season but was brought back due to technical problems.
  • On the January 16, 1997 episode, Paul Gutowski retires undefeated with $51,301.

February 1997[]

  • The Teen Tournament airs from February 3-14, 1997.
    • On the February 6, 1997 episode, during the Teen Tournament, the set was filled with tribble invasion creatures Star Trek all over.
  • On the February 21, 1997 episode, Grace Veach retires undefeated with $51,601.

March 1997[]

April 1997[]

  • On the April 1, 1997 episode, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak hosted as an April Fools' joke. The same day, Alex Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune, with Pat's wife Lesly Sajak as hostess, and Pat Sajak and Vanna White were contestants. On this episode:
    • The contestants were Christian Stallsmith, Lori Drummond, and Paul Roder.
    • Johnny's introduction begins normally, but instead of introducing Alex, Johnny introduced Pat Sajak. Pat makes his entrance, and then, welcomes the viewers before the game began.
    • The contestant podium lights malfunction throughout the whole show.
    • The categories in the Jeopardy! round: "Buy a Vowel", "Lose a Turn", "Book & Author", "Husband & Wife", "Before & After" (which eventually became a regular Jeopardy! category that is identical to the Wheel counterpart), and "Say "Jack"" (a pun on Pat's last name, where all of the correct responses contain the word "Jack").
    • After the first commercial break, Pat interviews the contestants, and then, going to the second commercial break.
    • The Double Jeopardy! categories: "Hoaxes & Frauds", "April", "Fuels", "Shakespearean Fools", "Fool's Errands", and ""Fool"ish Songs".
    • The Final Jeopardy! category: "Trinidadian Amateur Ichthyologists".
    • No credit is given for Pat's wardrobe, but for Alex Trebek instead.

May 1997[]

  • Another Celebrity Jeopardy! is held from April 28, 1997-May 2, 1997. This is the first time more than one are held in the same season.
    • Rob Schneider, Robin Quivers and Mark McEwen compete on Monday.
    • Chris Hardwick, Sharon Lawerence and Patrick Duffy compete on Tuesday.
    • Joey Gordon-Levitt, Kirsten Dunst and Benjamin Salisbury compete on Wednesday.
    • Sam Waterston, Carey Lowell and Benjamin Bratt compete on Thursday.
    • Reggie White, Donna D'Errico and Mike Piazza on Friday.
      • On the May 1, 1997 episode, the Law & Order theme is used during the introductions; all three celebrity contestants are actors on the show.
  • The week of May 5, 1997 is the semi-final and final matches of the International Tournament, both of which are held in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the first time that Jeopardy! is taped on the road.
    • The event took place on the set of the Swedish version of Jeopardy!. Traveling sets weren't a thing until Season 14
    • The board-fill sound used at the start of the Jeopardy! and Double Jeopardy! rounds featured a rapidly-ascending marimba riff; this was also used on the Swedish version of the show.
    • An announcer speaks in a Swedish accent, although Gilbert's voice can still be heard during the closing credits.
    • The May 9, 1997 episode, is the well-known incident of the clue (FOREIGN ANATOMY for $300), "If a Japanese isha (doctor) asks you to stick out your shita, he means this". Per Gunnar Hillesoy (from Norway) buzzes in with a response of "What is your behind?" causing laughter from the audience. Boris Levit (from Israel) gives the correct response of "What is your tongue?" which Alex says is "A long way from your behind!".
  • The College Championship airs from May 12-23, 1997.
    • On May 19, 1997, Both Brian Chan and Steven Bevier were tied at $6,500 going into Final Jeopardy! and $13,000 coming out of it.
    • Steven responded correctly and went on to become the 1997 College Championship 2nd runner-up.

June 1997[]

  • On the June 3, 1997 episode, Lyn Payne retires with $55,002 despite losing her fifth game.
  • On the June 10, 1997 episode, Wes Ulm retires with $63,201 despite losing his fifth game.
  • On the June 16, 1997 episode, Arthur Phillips retires undefeated with $63,003. He became the last 5-time retired champion without a bonus prize.

July 1997[]

  • On the July 3, 1997 episode, Kim Worth retires with $64,000 despite losing his fifth game.
  • Season 13 of Jeopardy! wraps up on July 18, 1997, with three male contestants playing on a season finale for only the second time, following Season 6. This also marked the last time, the 1992-1997 theme, and the 1984-1997 "Think!" music was used.
  • Summer reruns, possibly with replacement fee plugs, air from July 21-August 30, 1997, with reruns later airing on weekends from 1997-1998. Reruns later air on Game Show Network in the early 2000s.
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