Jeopardy! History Wiki
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Season 18 (2001-2002)[]

Season Changes[]

  • This is both the last season to feature Alex's trademark mustache and the first season where Alex was clean-shaven.
  • This is both last season to feature the $100 increments in the first round and the $200 increments in the Double Jeopardy! round, and the first season to feature the $200 increments in the first round and the $400 increments in the Double Jeopardy! round.
  • 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.
  • This is also the last season to implement the winnings cap with any excess being donated to charity for 5-time champions.
  • After two seasons of having the DAILY DOUBLE words in the graphic card appearing in a single line, the traditional stacked top-to-bottom configuration is restored this season.
  • New opening sequence: a black background has pieces of lavender shooting out to form the set visible within it, and the Jeopardy! logo is formed, and then, it wipes away to reveal the 1996-2002 set.
  • This was the the only season to be produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television.
  • The contestant introductions and Final Jeopardy! winnings appear in a plain font. This would remain in use until the Season 20 finale.
  • This is also the last season to have the 1999 Jeopardy! Online logo, which appeared in the first two months of this season.
  • 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 (first two months).
    • Alex Trebek still had his trademark mustache (first 14 episodes).
    • Both Jeopardy! and its sister show Wheel of Fortune were still produced by Columbia TriStar Television.
    • The consolation prizes still featured merchandise (first three weeks). From October 1, 2001 to April 30, 2002, consolation prizes only featured vacation packages.
    • The winnings cap with any excess being donated to charity was still implemented.
    • Chevrolet cars were still the bonus prize for 5-day champions.
  • Later this season, the Jaguar X-Type replaced Chevrolet.
  • This is the last season where Lisa Finneran, Rocky Schmidt and Gary Johnson are producers.
  • This is the first season not to have any Celebrity Jeopardy! tournaments.
  • It was the season with the fewest champions in a five-game winning streak, and only three players succeeded in winning five in a row. Also, 2002 was a year of fierce competition to the extent that there were only two champions with a five-game winning streak.
  • This is the first season to have Michael Levitt as Talent Executive after Georgina Warwick died.

September 2001[]

  • Season 18 of Jeopardy! kicks off on September 3, 2001.
  • Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune did not air on September 11, 2001, due to the coverage of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
  • On the September 20, 2001, episode, Mark Dawson retires undefeated with $52,599 and a new Chevy Corvette.
  • 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. The original lineup was Sofia Lidskog, Cheryl Farrell, Sarah Whitcomb (now known as Sarah Whitcomb-Foss), and Jimmy McGuire.
  • On the September 24-28, 2001, episodes, Back to School Week is held.

October 2001[]

  • The whoosh sound returns in the introduction on the October 10, 2001, episode.
  • On later episodes of this season, the 1999 Jeopardy Online logo was removed after the Tournament of Champions. The logo made its last appearance on the October 19, 2001 episode.

November 2001[]

  • 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 23, 2001, episode, Trevor Norris retires undefeated with $54,604 and a new Chevy Tahoe. He is also the last 5-time Champ before the clue values were doubled, and the last 5-time champ to win a Chevrolet. It was also the last episode to feature the $100 increments in the Jeopardy! round and the $200 increments in the Double Jeopardy! round.
  • 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 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.
    • In addition, the $100, $300, and $500 values were retired, replaced by the $1,200, $1,600, and $2,000 values, when the $100 increments were retired and replaced by the $400 increments. As a result, the $200 increments were moved from the Double Jeopardy! round to the Jeopardy! round.
    • Also on this episode, three new contestants appeared (Harold Skinner, Geoffrey Zimmerman, & Kristin Lawhead).

December 2001[]

  • On the December 7, 2001 episode, Kathy Cassity retires with $59,200 despite losing her fifth game.
  • On the December 11, 2001 episode, in the category U.S. BUILDINGS, the first clue of the Double Jeopardy! round was about the Pentagon, which was taped before the September 11 attacks. After the Final Jeopardy! category was revealed, Alex Trebek going into the commercial break said, "We just had a clue about the Pentagon, ladies and gentlemen; I want to point out that this program was taped prior to the unfortunate events of September 11th."
  • From the December 17, 2001 episode to the December 21, 2001 episode, the champion's winnings were matched to the Families of Freedom Scholarship with a minimum of $10,000, in response to the September 11 attacks. The episodes were dedicated to the memory of all the people who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks.
  • On the December 19, 2001 episode, the Los Angeles Spirit Chorale performed in the closing credits.
  • On the December 20, 2001 episode, the Los Angeles Spirit Chorale with Cheryl Farrell performed "Carol of the Bells" during the closing credits. In addition, the episode did not have theme music in 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 instead of the "Think!" music, after Alex reads the Final Jeopardy! clue. The song is also performed by the L.A. Spirit Chorale and Cheryl during the credits, after which applause from the audience is heard.
  • From December 24-28, 2001, Holiday Kids Week is held.

January 2002[]

  • On the January 7, 2002, episode, Mark Lee retires with $67,500 despite losing his fifth game.
  • The real 4,000th episode aired on January 11, 2002.

February 2002[]

  • The Teen Tournament airs from February 4-15, 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.

March 2002[]

  • On the March 11, 2002, episode, Jason McCune retires with $90,041 despite losing his fifth game.

April 2002[]

  • On the April 29, 2002, episode, Ben Sternberg sets a new one-day record of $38,400.
  • On the April 30, 2002, episode, the consolation prizes were announced by Johnny Gilbert for the last time. The segment was dropped after the Million Dollar Masters and the 4,000th episode special.

May 2002[]

  • From May 1-14, 2002, the Million Dollar Masters tournament was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
    • These episodes also all reran from August 3-28, 2020 as part of the episodes from the Jeopardy! Vault.
  • On the May 15, 2002, episode, the 4,000th episode aired after the Million Dollar Masters tournament at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This episode presented was in a documentary style with no game play involved:
    • Johnny's opening spiel was: "From New York City's Radio City Music Hall, this is Jeopardy!'s 4,000th episode special".
    • The Jeopardy! 4000 logo appeared during the opening sequence. And then, a clip montage of Alex through the years.
    • After a montage of Alex through the years, he welcomes the viewers to the 4,000th episode, and introduced Johnny Gilbert; who has been with the show since the syndicated run debuted on September 10, 1984.
    • After Alex introduced Johnny, he talks about how Jeopardy! began as the daytime quiz show on NBC on March 30, 1964; as a matter of fact It was produced in a studio about a hundred feet from where he stands, so Jeopardy! comes all the way home again.
    • The first clip is from a 1964 test episode of Jeopardy!, and its six categories: "Television", "U.S. Geography", "Women", "Bits & Pieces", "Politics", and "The Funnies".
    • Alex talks about how the daytime quiz show lasted for 11 seasons until January 3, 1975; and then, Jeopardy! debuted as a syndicated program on September 10, 1984.
    • The first montage is set to the 1997-2001 theme composed by Steve Kaplan; it is followed by another montage, set to "Start the Commotion" by The Wiseguys, along with an interview from Nathan Lane.
    • After the commercial break, Alex talks about how Merv Griffin was already a talk show host, he created two game shows, 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 Jeopardy! earned $15 million dollars in cash, and then, another montage follows; followed by another montage, set to "Weird Al" Yankovic's "I Lost on Jeopardy".
    • After the commercial break, Alex interviewed Jodie Foster.
    • Alex talks about how Celebrity Jeopardy! raised more than two and a half million dollars for charity.
    • A montage of celebrities appearing on Jeopardy! through the years are shown.
    • Alex talks about the first clue on the first syndicated 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?".
    • A montage of Jeopardy! categories and answers throughout the years are shown.
    • Alex talks about how Jeopardy! took the show on the road, as well as several tournaments, and the Clue Crew.
    • Another clip montage follows, accompanied by Alex's voiceover.
    • In the final segment, Alex talks about how Jeopardy! became a pop culture icon.
    • A clip montage follows, such as 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.
    • The closing credits featured the same montage of Alex through the years; after the closing credits, we see the text: "IN LOVING MEMORY OF GEORGINA WARWICK"; this episode is dedicated to the memory of Georgina Warwick.
  • Starting with the May 16, 2002, episode and continuing into the present day, 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 retires undefeated with $78,600 and a Jaguar X-Type, which is the new car from this point until the end of the next season. He is first 5-time champion after clue values were doubled on November 26, 2001, and longest gap between 5-time champs under the "5-time Champ Rule" (101 games).

June 2002[]

  • On the June 3, 2002, episode, Jill Bunzendahl Chimcka retires with $85,099 despite losing her fifth game.
  • On the June 26, 2002, episode, Eric Floyd retires with $97,800 despite losing his fifth game.

July 2002[]

  • Season 18 of Jeopardy! wraps up on July 19, 2002.
  • From July 16, 2002 to September 23, 2002, the champion changed 14 times in a row, the longest in history.
  • 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 between 2005 and 2008 under that network's GSN branding.
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