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 consolation prizes feature $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place.
  • At the beginning of this season, Sony Pictures Television took over the production of Jeopardy!, and its sister show, Wheel of Fortune. 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.
  • The opening credits have changed to a black background with a lavender color. Next, the show's letters formed the silver Jeopardy! logo at the end. Finally, the Jeopardy! logo then zooms forward, in which the "A" reveals the 1996-2002 set, and later the 2002-2009 set.
  • 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.
  • This is also the last season to implement the five-day limit for returning champions.
  • 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.

This season:

  • Season 19 of Jeopardy! kicks off on September 2, 2002.
  • On early episodes of this season:
    • The show was still produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television.
    • The show still used the 1996-2002 sushi bar set.
  • Myron Meyer sets a new one day record of $50,000 on the September 5, 2002 episode.
  • On the September 16-20, 2002 episodes, Back to School Week was held.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • At the beginning of the show, Alex explained that the sushi bar set was used for the last time. We've used it for 6 seasons and 1,163 shows.
    • The contestants that day were Matthew Temple, Jessica Rasper, and Brad Bean.
    • The categories in the first round consisted of the following: "Science", "We Like Your Style!", "Towers", "Pardon My Polish", "Pop Music", and "Morocco 'Round the Clock".
    • The categories in the Double Jeopardy! round consisted of the following: "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 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 vane 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.
    • The introduction shows a time-lapse transition to a brand new set.
    • During the first week with this set, the background changes to red when the lights dim during the Final Jeopardy! segment. But from the second week until the end of Season 21, the set stays blue throughout the whole show.
    • In the early version on the set, the sides on the game board have small white circles with a gray border.
  • 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.
  • On the December 23, 2002 episode, the outlines on the podiums are removed.
  • On the January 6-10, 2003 episodes, Holiday Kids Week is held.
  • Brian Weikle sets a new one-day record of $52,000 on the April 14, 2003 episode.
  • The Tournament of Champions was held in May 2003 when the champions play for $250,000.
  • On the June 19, 2003 episode, John Beck became the last retired 5-time champion.
  • On the June 20, 2003 episode, three new contestants played for the last time after the prior champion retired undefeated.
  • 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.