Season 18 (2001-2002)[edit | edit source]
- This season is both the last season to feature Alex's trademark mustache and the first season where Alex was clean-shaven.
- This is both the last season to feature vacation packages and merchandise as consolation prizes and the first season to feature $2,000 for 2nd place and $1,000 for 3rd place as consolation prizes.
- This is also the last season where Perry Ellis is credited as Alex's wardrobe provider.
- This is also the last full season to use the 1996-2002 sushi bar set.
- The opening credits have changed to a black background, with pieces of a very pale lavender shooting out to form the background of the set visible within it, and the Jeopardy! logo is formed in silver, and then, it wipes away to reveal the 1996-2002 set.
- Due to the financial dispute with Sony, Microsoft dropped its WebTV interactive elements from Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
- This was the last season to be produced by Columbia TriStar Television, and the only season to be produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television.
- The contestant introductions and Final Jeopardy! winnings appear in a plain font similar to Arial. This would remain in use until the Season 20 finale.
- This is also the last season to have the 1999 Jeopardy! Online logo.
- A split-screen for full credit rolls debuted, with the closing act of an episode on the left, and the credits scrolling up on the right.
- This is the last season where Alex's wardrobe provider was in the credits.
- During this season, Columbia TriStar Domestic Television took over production for Jeopardy! and its sister show Wheel of Fortune. It looks just like the Columbia TriStar Television logo, except the logo is a blue tint and the Sony Pictures Entertainment byline is smaller and the "TELEVISION" text is changed to "DOMESTIC TELEVISION".
- On early episodes of this season:
- The dollar values for the first two rounds are still the same as they were from the September 10, 1984 episode Greg/Lois/Frank, when Alex Trebek began hosting Jeopardy!.
- The 1999 Jeopardy Online logo was still used after the closing credits.
- It is still produced by Columbia TriStar Television.
- Merchandise was still featured in the consolation prizes. From October 2001 to April 2002, consolation prizes only featured vacation packages
- On later episodes of this season, the 1999 Jeopardy Online logo was removed.
- This is the last season where Lisa Finneran, Rocky Schmidt and Gary Johnson are producers.
- Season 18 of Jeopardy! kicks off on September 3, 2001.
- Jeopardy!, and its sister show Wheel of Fortune, were both preempted on September 11, 2001, due to the news coverage of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
- On the September 21, 2001 episode, Alex shaved his mustache to give him a clean-shaven look.
- On the September 24, 2001 episode, the Clue Crew made their debut during the video clues segment.
- On the September 24-28, 2001 episodes, Back to School Week is held.
- The whoosh sound returns in the introduction on the October 10, 2001 episode.
- The Tournament of Champions is held October 22-November 2, 2001.
- During the quarter-finals week of the Tournament of Champions, Johnny introduced, on each episode, three of last year's champions, by announcing the contestants' names and without announcing the total winnings that they earned since their last appearance on the show.
- The College Championship was held at the UCLA and aired from November 7-20, 2001.
- On the November 26, 2001 episode, the current dollar amounts were introduced: $200 to $1,000 in $200 increments for the Jeopardy! round and $400 to $2,000 in $400 increments for the Double Jeopardy! segment.
- At the top of the episode, the old Jeopardy! round clue values of $100 to $500 are already in the monitors; as Alex mentions the new clue values the monitors make the usual transition: The old Jeopardy! round values are replaced with new Jeopardy! round values.
- With this doubling of the dollar amounts, the winnings cap (which stood at $75,000 from 1984-90, then $100,000 from 1990-97, and $200,000 from 1997-2001, with any excess being donated to charity) is abolished completely.
- On the December 20, 2001 episode, the Los Angeles Spirit Chorale with Cheryl Farrell performed "Carol of the Bells" during the closing credits.
- On the December 21, 2001 episode, the Los Angeles Spirit Chorale with Cheryl performed "Silent Night", which is coming back from the last commercial break, and the rest of the song is heard for 30 seconds after Alex reads the Final Jeopardy! clue.
- From December 24-28 2001, Holiday Kids Week is held.
- The real 4,000th episode aired on January 11, 2002.
- On the 4th quarterfinal game of the Teen Tournament on February 7, 2002, Alex announced at the beginning of the show that when the 1st 3 contestants play, the other 12 contestants are locked in a deliberation room. This is so that the contestants won't know what score to beat to be in the semifinals as one of the 4 wildcard spots of high scores among the non-winners.
- On the April 29, 2002 episode, Ben Sternberg sets a new one-day record of $38,400.
- From May 1-14, 2002, the Million Dollars Masters Tournament is held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
- On the May 15, 2002 episode, the 4,000th episode aired on this date. There was no gameplay involved, just a documentary:
- Alex introduced the voice of Jeopardy! named Johnny Gilbert, who has been with the show since the syndicated run debuted on September 10, 1984.
- Alex talks about how Jeopardy! began as a daytime quiz show on NBC on March 30, 1964. It was produced in a studio about a hundred feet from where he stands, so Jeopardy! has come all the way home again. In 1964, the host was Art Fleming, and the show looked a little bit different. That version lasted for 11 seasons until January 3, 1975. Then, Jeopardy! became a syndicated program on September 10, 1984.
- The first clip montage is set to the 1997-2001 theme composed by Steve Kaplan, it is followed by "Start the Commotion" by The Wiseguys.
- After the first commercial break, Alex talks about how Merv Griffin was already a talk show host. He created the most popular game shows in TV history, such as Jeopardy! in 1964, and its sister show Wheel of Fortune in 1975. He shows an interview of Merv, who talks about the idea for Jeopardy!.
- Alex talks about how they earned $15 million dollars in cash over the past 4,000 episodes, and shows another clip montage. This is followed by a clip montage of contestants getting lost, set to "Weird Al" Yankovic's "I Lost on Jeopardy".
- After the second commercial break, a clip of Jodie Foster appearing on Celebrity Jeopardy! is shown. Then, Alex talks about how Celebrity Jeopardy! has raised more than two and a half million dollars for charity. He shows a clip montage of celebrities appearing on Jeopardy! throughout the years.
- Alex talks about the first clue on the first episode of Jeopardy! in 1984. The first answer in the "Animals" category is "These rodents first got to America by stowing away on ships", and the question was "What are rats?". Then, Alex shows a clip montage of Jeopardy! categories and answers throughout the years.
- After the third commercial break, Alex talks about how Jeopardy! took the show on the road, as well as several tournaments, and the clue crew. He shows a clip montage accompanied by his voiceover.
- In the final segment, Alex talks about how Jeopardy! became a pop culture icon, and shows clips from Cheers, The Burbs, White Men Can't Jump, Die Hard, Men in Black, Rain Man, Charlie's Angels, Dying Young, The Education of Max Bickford, Groundhog Day, Finding Forrester, Saturday Night Live, and The Simpsons.
- This episode is dedicated to Georgina Warwick.
- From the May 16, 2002 episode to the end of Season 37, the second-place runner-up receives $2,000 and the third-place runner-up earns $1,000.
- On the May 22, 2002 episode, Ben Tritle becomes the first 5 time-undefeated champ to win a Jaguar X-Type which is the new car from this point until the end of the next season.
- Season 18 of Jeopardy! wraps up on July 19, 2002.
- Summer reruns air from July 22-August 30, 2002, with reruns later airing on weekends from 2002-2003. Eventually, reruns air on Game Show Network in the mid-2000s under that network's GSN branding.
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