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 on later episodes of this season.
  • 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 in Season 11.
    • When the sushi bar set debuted, the globe intro was dropped, and a monitor zooms out by 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.
    • The closed captioning bug returned to the opening credits at the beginning of this season.
  • 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 31, 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 next season.
  • On early episodes of this season, the show still had the closing animations between a shot of Alex, and the day's winners. On later episodes of this season, the closing animations between a shot of Alex, 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 Alex and the contestants.
  • When the sushi bar set debuted on November 11, 1996, the Jeopardy! theme had the first five seconds removed, and the bongo theme fades in. The whooshing sound and the audience chattering were removed. Johnny said "Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin", which remained in use until the December 31, 1999 episode.
  • 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.
  • 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 Jeopardy! logo no longer appeared in the copyright card, but 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 few episodes of the season only, the contestant interview segment continued after the Jeopardy! round is completed. On all other episodes of this season and in all later seasons, that segment is moved back to being held after the first break, where it had been before Season 9. When the move is made, Alex now stands near the contestants' 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.

This season:

  • Season 13 of Jeopardy! kicks off on September 2, 1996.
  • On early episodes of this season:
    • Johnny said: "From the Sony Studios, this is Jeopardy!".
    • The show still used the 1991-1996 grid set.
    • The graphics from Seasons 11 and 12 were still used.
    • The contestant podium monitors still turned red for Double Jeopardy!.
    • The studio was still red during the closing credits.
  • 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.
  • 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 31, 1999 episode.
  • The November 8, 1996 episode is the last appearance of the grid set. The grid set lasted for 5 seasons, and 1,151 shows. On Monday, we'll come back with a brand new set.
  • Celebrity Jeopardy! is held from November 11-15, 1996.
    • 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. On this episode:
      • Alex made his entrance by walking down a tiny staircase for the first time. The first five seconds of the 1992-1997 bongo theme are removed, the bongo theme simply fades in.
      • On some episodes, celebrity contestants walked onto the set by emblazoning the sliding doors, and to their contestant podiums.
      • The set consisted of wood paneling with columns at each corner. The glass windows can be seen behind the contestant podiums. The Jeopardy! logo appeared on the sliding doors. 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 glass had a darker shade of pink with the grid in purple.
      • 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. Starting on the November 12, 1996 episode, 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 Jeopardy! logo, a shot of Alex, and the day's winners, in favor of different angles of the set, as well as a shot of Alex, and the contestants.
      • The set in the closing credits was red for the last time.
  • Starting with the November 12, 1996 episode, the contestant podium monitors stayed blue throughout the whole episode, while the set reverted to blue for the closing credits.
  • 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.
  • Stock footage from the December 6, 1996 episode, was featured in the 1999 film called 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.
  • 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 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 and Vanna were contestants, as they play for charity. The contestants were Christian Stallsmith, Lori Drummond, and Paul Roder. On this episode:
    • Johnny's introduction begins normally, but instead of introducing Alex, Johnny said "And now, here is the host of Jeopardy!; Pat Sajak!".
    • Pat makes his entrance, and then, welcomes the viewers before the game began.
    • The contestant podium lights began malfunctioning throughout the whole show.
    • The categories in the Jeopardy! round consisted of the following: "Buy a Vowel", "Lose a Turn", "Book & Author", "Husband & Wife", "Before & After", which became a Jeopardy! category that is identical to the Wheel counterpart, and "Say "Jack"", which is a pun on Pat's last name, where all of the correct responses consisted of the word "Jack".
    • After the first commercial break, Pat interviews the contestants before concluding the Jeopardy! round, and then, going to the second commercial break.
    • The Double Jeopardy! categories are plays on the word "fool": "Hoaxes & Frauds", "April", "Fuels", "Shakespearean Fools", ""Fool"'s Errands", and ""Fool"-ish Songs".
    • After the Double Jeopardy! round, Pat introduced the Final Jeopardy! category: "Trinidadian Amateur Ichthyologists".
    • After the last commercial break, Pat gave the final question: "Who is R.J. Lashmere?".
    • At the end, the wardrobe provider credit had Alex Trebek's name, instead of using Pat's.
  • 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.
    • On the May 1, 1997 episode, the Law & Order theme is heard, all three celebrity contestants are actors on the show.
  • The week of the May 5, 1997 episode is the semi-final, and the final matches of the International Tournament are both held in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the first time that Jeopardy! is taped on the road.
    • An unknown Swedish announcer fills for Johnny Gilbert. 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.
  • 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.