Jeopardy! History Wiki
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Season 14 (1997-1998)[]

Season Changes[]

  • Harry Friedman became the producer of Jeopardy!, and its sister show Wheel of Fortune, succeeding the retiring George Vosburgh.
  • The opening credits have changed to the same CGI flyover of the Sony Pictures Studios complex, and a red cube zooms out, with the floating silver Jeopardy! logo, which is flying over the red floating cubes on a mint green and blue gradient background. The silver Jeopardy! logo flies away, and a red cube zooms in to reveal the 1996-2002 set.
  • On early episodes of this season, the show's set both still turned red for Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy!, and reverted to blue in the closing credits (first five weeks).
  • The glass backdrop on the sushi bar set changed its color to a lighter shade of pink with the grid in blue.
  • The main theme and the "Think!" music are re-recorded in a more modern style, and was composed by Steve Kaplan.
    • Starting this season and lasting through today, the theme finishes playing when the credits do; an exception to this practice occurred during most of Season 37. When the original music package was in use, the credits ended mid theme.
  • This season is both the last season where the set changed from blue to red for Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy!, and the first season where the set stayed blue throughout the whole show.
  • This season is also both the last season with the dollar figures popping in at the start of Double Jeopardy!, and the first season where the dollar figures did not pop in, meaning already shown on the board coming out of the second commercial break.
  • This is the last full season to have the KingWorld "Spotlights" logo, due to being replaced by the "Star Shooter" logo the next season.
  • The winnings limit is doubled from the previous $100,000, in place since Season 7, to $200,000, which remains in place until early Season 18.
  • Beginning with this season, and lasting until early Season 18, all five-time champions win their choice of one of three Chevrolet cars. In the first 13 seasons alone, five-time champions simply retired undefeated without a bonus prize.
  • This season also marked minor changes:
    • The microphones were removed from the contestant podiums, so the contestants wear clip-on microphones.
    • The studio audience is now shown on camera.
    • The categories were covered by a Jeopardy! logo, the Double Jeopardy! logo, the Final Jeopardy! logo, and a logo for particular tournaments.
      • The logo in the category screens rotated upwards to reveal the categories.
      • In addition, the category heading color became white.
  • Video clues were introduced in this season.
  • The Daily Double, Audio Daily Double, and Video Daily Double graphics had a red background to match the season's title card.
  • Also starting with this season and continuing to today, the categories are covered by the Jeopardy! and Double Jeopardy! logos, as well as the logo for a particular event/tournament.
    • From this season until early episodes of Season 17, the category effect screen rotated up.
  • This is the first season in which the College Championship is taped on a college campus. This format remained until Season 24.
  • This is also the first time, Alex introduced the new black college trophy to the viewers and the contestants. That was a small and big trophy. This would remain in use until Season 24.
  • Starting with this season, a Game Show Network ID appeared during the closing credits. The first ID had a voice-over saying; "It's the only network you can play at home, Game Show Network, where it's all play, all day! Buzz your cable company and get in the game!".
  • The contestant's names and winnings in the introductions, as well as the graphic showing the Final Jeopardy! winner's new winnings count for the day, were changed to Optima, which continued to be used for them until Season 18.
  • Optima became the font for video clues, as well as the Final Jeopardy! segments.
  • Additionally, the sponsor list, closing credits, and the copyright notice were changed to Optima, and continued until Season 25.
  • As with the season premiere, the only applause from the audience is heard over the KingWorld logo at the start of this season.
  • Starting with this season, the copyright date and "Created by Merv Griffin" were changed to Optima.

September 1997[]

  • Season 14 of Jeopardy! premieres on September 1, 1997.
  • On the season premiere episode, the game strangely ended in a tie that resulted in co-champions.
    • For the first two weeks of this season, the "Think!" cue has a piano lead in both verses.
    • On the season premiere, the theme song ends before Johnny's catchphrase.
  • On the September 2, 1997 episode, the theme song ends a few seconds before Johnny's catchphrase.
  • On the September 4, 1997 episode, Dan Melia retires undefeated with $75,600. He also became the first 5-day champion to receive a Chevy car (the Corvette).
  • On the September 11, 1997 episode, Fred Ramen retires undefeated with $61,000 and a new Chevy Corvette.
  • Also on the September 11, 1997 episode, oddly, the copyright date and "Created by Merv Griffin" credit are done in Compacta-D.
  • Starting with the September 15, 1997 episode, the "Think!" cue is re-recorded to include a trumpet lead in the second verse. This would remain in use until the end of Season 24. Additionally, the Final Jeopardy! category appeared onscreen, when the contestants wrote their final responses. This remained in use until Season 25.
  • On the September 17, 1997 episode, Pam Mifflin retires with $42,300 despite losing her fourth game.
  • On September 19, 1997, the 3,000th episode aired on this date. On this episode:
    • Johnny appears on camera to announce the 3,000th episode, as a 3,000th Jeopardy! logo is shown.
    • After the announcement, a clip from the first episode "Greg/Lois/Frank" from September 10, 1984 is played.
    • The contestants were standing at their podiums to celebrate the 3,000th episode.
    • The contestants on the 3,000th episode are Jerod Klein, Tom Nichols, & Elizabeth Salinas.
    • The categories in the Jeopardy! round are the same ones used on the first episode: "Lakes & Rivers," "Inventions," "Animals," "Foreign Cuisine," "Actors & Roles," and "Number Please."
    • The "Actors & Roles" category consisted of a video clue from the Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament.
    • The categories in the Double Jeopardy! round are related to the milestone title: "September 1984," "Debuts," "Missed on Show No. 1," "3,000," "Anniversaries," and "Look to the Future."
    • The Final Jeopardy! category is the same one on the first episode: "Holidays", and was introduced in the same manner.

October 1997[]

  • Starting with the October 6, 1997 episode, the set no longer turned red for Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy!; it instead remained blue throughout the entire episode.
  • On the October 17, 1997 episode, Peter Scott retires with $44,803 despite losing his fifth game.
  • On the October 31, 1997 episode, the contestants celebrated Halloween were Mark Dickerson, Bob Harris, and Matt Mann. On this episode:
    • Alex makes his entrance wearing a Statue of Liberty costume, which makes Johnny Gilbert laugh.
    • The categories in the Jeopardy! round consisted of: "Fictional Ghosts", "Real Ghosts?", "Bones", "Bobbing", "For Apples", and "Universal Monsters", featuring the video clues of Bela Lugosi, the Frankenstein Monster, and The Creature.
    • The categories in the Double Jeopardy! round consisted of: "Asia", "All That Jazz", "The Civil War", "Small Midwestern Colleges", "Unfinished Business", and "10-Letter Words".
    • The Final Jeopardy! category is "Halloween".

November 1997[]

  • The first week of the Teen Tournament airs from November 3-7, 1997.
  • The second week of the Teen Tournament and Power Players Week, airing from November 10-21, 1997 are both held at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
    • Special roadshow elements are added for the first time, including a new game board and podiums that look similar to the ones used at Sony Picture Studios except they further apart from each other.
    • Instead of Alex announcing the nine semi-finalists who will be playing next week, while the contestants walk up on stage, each player will say their name and location and so on followed up the applause from the audience. This applied to the four wildcard spots. And also they did the same practice for the three finalists. This practice has been done for the Tournament of Champions, College Championship, Teen Tournament, and finally, Teachers Tournament (which did not exist at that time until Season 27), since then.
  • Power Players Week is held from November 17-21, 1997.
    • Jessie L. Jackson, Dee Dee Myers and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. compete on Monday.
    • Tim Russert, Catherine Crier and Tom Clancy compete on Tuesday.
    • Jack Ford, Pat Schroeder and Al Franken compete on Wednesday.
    • Wolf Blitzer, Arianna Huffington and Oliver Stone compete on Thursday.
    • Oliver North, Andrea Mitchell and Bill Maher on Friday.
  • On the November 27, 1997 episode, Bob Harris retires undefeated with $61,000 and two new Chevy Camaros.

December 1997[]

  • Starting with the December 15, 1997 episode, the Final Jeopardy! category appeared onscreen, while contestants wrote their responses.
  • The December 16, 1997 episode marked the first time, the "Bonus" category is used. The category consisted of two correct responses. If the contestant gave the correct response, they choose the other correct response to the contestant. However, if the contestant gave the incorrect response, they lost the value, so that they are playing for double the clue value.
  • On the December 19, 1997 episode, the real 3,000th episode of Jeopardy! airs, which is the 3,065th episode.
  • On the December 31, 1997 episode, the "Bonus" category is used for the second time.

January 1998[]

  • The set changed its color from blue to red in the Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! segments for the last time on the January 23, 1998 Celebrity Jeopardy! sportscasters episode.
    • Greg Gumbel, Jim Lampley and Al Michaels compete on this episode.
    • It was also the last time the set reverted back to blue in the closing credits.
  • On the January 26, 1998 episode, the same day Toby Keith's "Dream Walkin'" was released to country radio stations. The contestants that day were Melissa Singer, Vinnie Iyer, and Ron Hankey. On this episode:
    • The categories in the Jeopardy! round consisted of: "Ancient Rome", "Lyricists", "Just Logos", "Let's Talk "Dirty", "Odds", and "Ends".
    • The categories in the Double Jeopardy! round consisted of: "Religion", "A Trip to Literary Britain", "Movies: Been There, Done That", "Notable Americans", "Body Part Homonyms", and "Odds & Ends", which is in the same category.
    • The Final Jeopardy! category was "Animals of the New World".

February 1998[]

  • The Tournament of Champions aired February 2-13, 1998.
    • The February 10, 1998 episode marked the last time, the "Bonus" category is used.
    • During the quarterfinals week of the Tournament of Champions, Alex said, "(contestant's name), you won the toss, you go first."
    • The dollar figures didn't pop in at the start of the Double Jeopardy! round; they were already present in the monitors coming out of the second commercial break.
  • February 16-27, 1998 is the "Play and Win" sweepstakes sponsored by Sears.
  • On the February 23, 1998 episode, J.J. Todor retires retires undefeated with $29,021 and a new Chevy Tahoe.

March 1998[]

  • In March 1998, the practice of popping in the dollar figures on the Double Jeopardy! round board ended, the figures were already shown on the board coming out of the second commercial break.
  • On the March 2, 1998 Celebrity Jeopardy! Ladies Night episode. Jane Curtin, Naomi Judd and Teri Garr compete.
    • All three celebrity female contestants each had $0 at the end of the match. However, the winner is Jane when declares leader going into Final Jeopardy!
  • On the March 3, 1998 episode, Chris Ward retires retires undefeated with $63,301 and two new Chevy Camaros.

April 1998[]

  • On the April 6, 1998 episode, Pat Healy retires retires undefeated with $66,604 and two new Chevy Camaros.

May 1998[]

  • The Celebrity Invitational is held from April 27, 1998-May 1, 1998.
    • Jason Alexander, Carol Burnett and Dan Cortese compete on Monday.
    • Melissa Joan Hart, Fred Savage and Alicia Witt compete on Tuesday.
    • Sinbad, Jeri Ryan and Jack Ford compete on Wednesday.
    • Regis Philbin, Robin Quivers and Stephen King compete on Thursday.
    • Mark McEwen, Cheech Marin and Jerry Orbach on Friday.
  • The College Championship was held at UC Berkeley and aired from May 4-15, 1998. This is the first time they took the College Championship on the road.

June 1998[]

  • On the June 1, 1998 episode, Lara Robillard retires retires undefeated with $59,500 and a new Chevy Tahoe.
  • The June 5, 1998 episode is Celebrity Jeopardy! Olympians Night. Dot Richardson, Summer Sanders and Rebecca Lobo compete on this episode.
  • On the June 12, 1998 episode, all three contestants have no money at the end of the game, the first known instance since the 2nd show. This is also the only instance in the Trebek era that is not a "three-way tie", as one contestant had -$400 at the end of the Double Jeopardy! round.
  • On the June 22, 1998 episode, Dave Abbott retires retires undefeated with $68,599 and a new Chevy Suburban.

July 1998[]

  • On the July 3, 1998 episode, John Skelton retires with $57,000 despite losing his fourth game.
  • On the July 9, 1998 episode, Dan Girard retires retires undefeated with $37,800 and a new Chevy Tahoe.
  • Season 14 of Jeopardy! concludes on July 17, 1998.
  • Summer repeats air from July 20 to September 4, 1998, with replacement fee plugs. Repeats later air on weekends from September 12, 1998 to September 4, 1999 and on Game Show Network between 2001 and 2005.
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