Jeopardy! History Wiki
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Season 19 (2002-2003)[]

Season Changes[]

  • Starting with this season, Alex’s wardrobe was removed from the closing credits.
  • This is the first full season where Alex Trebek was clean-shaven.
  • This is also the first full season to feature $200 increments in the first round and the $400 increments in the Double Jeopardy! round.
  • This is also the first full season where consolation prizes feature $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place.
  • On early episodes of this season:
    • Both Jeopardy! and its sister show Wheel of Fortune were still produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television.
    • The show still used the 1996-2002 sushi bar set.
  • At the beginning of this season, Columbia Tristar Domestic Television still owns the production of Jeopardy!, and its sister show, Wheel of Fortune until November 8, 2002, then Sony Pictures Television took over the production. They still use the Columbia Tristar Television jingle until November 8, 2002. On a dark blue screen, we see bars with orange inside, and the text "Sony Pictures Television" appears zooming away slowly. The music is a Christmas style tune composed by Mike Jones.
  • New opening sequence: a black background with a lavender color shows the letters forming the Jeopardy! logo. Finally, the Jeopardy! logo then zooms forward, revealing the 1996-2002 sushi bar set on early episodes, and on later episodes, the 2002-2009 metallic set (SD version).
  • This season is both the last season to use the 1996-2002 sushi bar set, and the first season to use the 2002-2009 metallic set (SD version).
  • This is also the last season to implement the five-day limit for returning champions. In the next season, the unlimited rule replaced the five-day limit.
  • This is the last full season where Steven Dorfman was the writer.
  • This season is both the last season to be produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television, and the first season to be produced by Sony Pictures Television until Season 36.
  • Lisa Finneran, Rocky Schmidt, and Gary Johnson became senior producers.

September 2002[]

  • Season 19 of Jeopardy! kicks off on September 2, 2002.
  • Myron Meyer sets a new one-day record of $50,000 on the September 5, 2002, episode. However, he was defeated by Jake Maeroff when next game.
  • From September 16-20, 2002, Back to School Week is held.
    • On the September 18, 2002, episode, Kunle DeMuren sets the all-time Kids Week record at the time of $49,000, just $1,000 shy of the all-time one-day record in regular games.
    • On the September 20, 2002, episode, on the last game of 2002 Back to School Week, Mike Scott won the game by the tiebreaker round. Mike, who had the lead going into Final Jeopardy! with $10,800 to his nearest opponent's $9,000, wagered only $7,200, playing for a tie, rather than for the win. Lucky for him, he gave the correct response to the tiebreaker clue.

October 2002[]

  • On the October 9, 2002, episode, Mark Brown retires undefeated with $61,000 and a new Jaguar X-Type.

November 2002[]

  • On the November 8, 2002, episode, the sushi bar set was used for the last time.
    • On this episode: Alex makes his entrance by walking down a tiny staircase for the last time.
    • The contestants that day were Matthew Temple, Jessica Rasper, and Brad Bean.
    • The categories in the first round: "Science", "We Like Your Style!", "Towers", "Pardon My Polish", "Pop Music", and "Morocco 'Round the Clock".
    • The categories in the Double Jeopardy! round: "History", "Shape Up", "The Largest in Area", "Oscar! Oscar!", "Authors' Private Lives", and "A Trip on the "L"".
    • The Final Jeopardy! category was "State Capitals".
  • The College Championship was held at Ohio State University and aired from November 11-22, 2002.
  • On the November 25, 2002 episode, the metallic set made its debut, and it was the second set designed by Naomi Slodki.
    • The contestants that day were Todd Nacey, Faith Love, and Matthew Temple.
    • The set consists of hanging panels with stone and metallic appearances. The large Jeopardy! logo was removed from the set, but the logo was added to the podiums. The contestant podiums gained a new look, and it has a sepia-colored trapezoid-shaped design with silver borders.
    • The contestant score displays are changed to LED displays, rather than incandescent seven-segment displays; positive scores are shown in white text on a blue background, while negative scores are shown in a white text on a red background; they are displayed on a single Sony PFM42b2 42-inch diagonal plasma monitor. The Barco monitors on the game board from the previous set were retained.
    • The introduction shows a time-lapse transition to a brand-new set.
    • Alex explains that over 1500 episodes were taped with the sushi bar set.
    • During the first week with this set, the background changes to red when the lights dim during the Final Jeopardy! segment.
    • In the early version of the set's run, the sides on the game board have small white circles with a gray border.
    • This set remains in use until the end of Season 25 but is slightly modified at the beginning of Season 23 when Jeopardy! begins broadcasting in HDTV.

December 2002[]

  • From December 2, 2002 and lasting until the end of Season 21, the set reverts to staying blue throughout the whole show.
  • On the December 9, 2002, episode, minor changes are made to the set, in which the sides on the game board have 4 rectangles with a light blue border, and the podiums have outlines on them.
  • From December 9-13, 2002, portions from the 1996-2002 sushi bar set were placed on eBay for auction, which proceeds donated to the charities World Vision and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Each of the items from the dismantled set were signed by Alex Trebek.
  • On the December 23, 2002, episode, the outlines on the podiums are removed.

January 2003[]

  • From January 6-10, 2003, Holiday Kids Week is held.

February 2003[]

  • The Teen Tournament airs from February 3-14, 2003.
  • On the February 17, 2003, episode, Jackie Harrison retires with $66,602 despite losing her fifth game.
  • On the February 24, 2003, episode, Travis Troyer retires undefeated with $83,100 and a new Jaguar X-Type.

March 2003[]

  • On the March 11, 2003, episode, Max Levaren retires with $68,801 despite losing her fifth game.

April 2003[]

  • Brian Weikle sets a new one-day record of $52,000 on the April 14, 2003, episode.
  • On the April 16, 2003, episode, Brian Weikle retires undefeated with $149,200 and a new Jaguar X-Type. He also sets the record of retired 5-day champion highest total winnings.

May 2003[]

  • Celebrity Jeopardy! is held from April 28, 2003-May 2, 2003.
    • Julie Bowen, Hal Sparks and Paige Davis compete on Monday.
    • Wayne Brady, Vivica A. Fox and Ashton Kutcher compete on Tuesday.
    • Brad Paisley, Linda Park and Will Estes compete on Wednesday.
    • Chris Matthews, Lauren Graham and Paul McCrane compete on Thursday.
    • Jeff Probst, CCH Pounder and Jousha Malina on Friday.
  • The Tournament of Champions was held from May 5-16, 2003, when the champions play for $250,000.

June 2003[]

  • On the June 10, 2003, episode, Jim Stalley retires with $84,100 despite losing his fifth game.
  • On the June 19, 2003, episode, John Beck retires undefeated with $117,099 and a new Jaguar X-Type. He also becomes the last retired 5-time champion. As well, he became the last 5-time champion to retired undefeated in history, and the last to win a Jaguar X-Type.
  • On the June 20, 2003, episode, three new contestants played for the last time after the prior champion retired undefeated.
  • On the June 30, 2003, episode, Seth Alcorn retires with $106,400 despite losing his fourth game.

July 2003[]

  • Season 19 of Jeopardy! wraps up on July 18, 2003.
  • Summer reruns air from July 21-September 5, 2003, with reruns later airing on weekends from 2003-2004.