Jeopardy! History Wiki
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Season 20 (2003-2004)[]

Season Changes[]

  • The five-day limit for returning champions is lifted, meaning players can keep playing as long as they keep winning.
  • The contestant podiums and the backdrop behind the contestants are slightly changed.
  • New opening sequence: an orange and blue background has the set visible within it, and the Jeopardy! logo is black. To mark the show's 20th anniversary, a "20th Anniversary" byline is seen underneath the Jeopardy! logo. There is also an alternate logo without the byline. In either case, there are miniature Jeopardy! logos flying in the background, including one that flies over the main logo at certain points; other times, laser beams are flying above, and below the logo itself. Finally, the Jeopardy! logo swings forward, revealing the 2002-2009 set (SD version).
  • The credits strips are changed from purple folder shaped to blue parallelogram shaped.
  • The "DOUBLE" and "FINAL" in Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy!, as well as the Daily Double text, are changed to Impact; the Daily Double text gained a black color scheme to match the season's title card. In later episodes of this season, the "DOUBLE" and "FINAL" in Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! were changed to red.
  • Starting with this season, the contestant introductions were changed to outer box introductions.
  • Also, the contestant intro and Final Jeopardy! winnings strips became blue, with black text in a font resembling Helvetica.
  • This is the last season where Steven Dorfman is the writer. He died of colon cancer on January 4, 2004 at the age of 48.
  • This is also the last full season to feature the original Clue Crew lineup, and the last full season to feature Sofia Lidskog as Clue Crew member.
  • Beginning with this season and continuing until Season 35, the theme music from Rock & Roll Jeopardy! is used during the Teen Tournament, College Championship, and Kids Week. For the next two seasons, it is only used going into and coming out of commercial breaks.
  • For at least the last 30 half-hour episodes of Season 20, the display text for video clues and the Final Jeopardy! thinking period is changed back to Korinna, which remains for the next two seasons.
  • Also, the clue cards themselves changed from smart quotes and custom apostrophes to straight quotes and plain apostrophes, and the category names temporarily changed from Swiss 911 to Helvetica Condensed.

September 2003[]

  • Season 20 of Jeopardy! kicks off on September 8, 2003.
  • On the season premiere episode, the unlimited rule replaced the 5-time limit rule.
  • On the September 11, 2003 episode, Sam Ott finishes with a 4-day total of $67,102. Since her first appearance was on the last game of the previous season, she became the last 4-day champion to retire despite losing her fifth match.
  • From September 22-26, 2003, Back to School Week is held.

October 2003[]

  • On the October 15, 2003 episode, Sean Ryan became the show’s first six-day champion and also the first unlimited champion with a total of $123,797.
  • On the October 22, 2003 episode, Russ Schumacher finishes with a 4-day total of $67,102.

November 2003[]

  • The College Championship aired from November 10-21, 2003 and was held at Yale University with the road show theme and the 2005 Closing Theme.

December 2003[]

  • The December 18, 2003 episode features Dave Oberhart, one of the show's blind contestants.

January 2004[]

  • On the January 13, 2004 episode, Tom Walsh becomes the show's first seven-day champion with a total of $184,900. In addition, the game also ended in a tie resulting in co-champions. He is the only champion with a tie-win record after 6 or more wins, the 2005 Closing Theme is heard.

February 2004[]

  • The Teen Tournament airs from February 9-20, 2004.
  • On the February 26, 2004 episode, Arthur Gandolfi finishes with a 4-day total of $137,300.

March 2004[]

  • On the March 19, 2004 episode, Steve Reynolds finishes with a 4-day total of $75,102.

April 2004[]

  • On the April 8, 2004 episode, Chris Miller finishes with a 5-day total of $123,597.
  • On the April 14, 2004 episode, Scott "Renzo" Renzoni finishes with a 4-day total of $112,998.
  • The April 21, 2004 episode is dedicated to the memory of Steven Dorfman, who had been a part of the Jeopardy! staff since the first season of the syndicated version.
  • On the April 26, 2004 episode, Tom Baker finishes with a 3-day total of $102,300.

May 2004[]

  • From May 3-14, 2004, two weeks of episodes were filmed at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
  • May 3-7, 2004 is Kids Week with the road show theme and the 2005 Closing Theme.
  • May 10-14 was Power Players Week which was held for the first time similar to Celebrity Jeopardy! with the road show theme and the 2005 Closing Theme.
    • Bob Woodward, Peggy Noonan and Tucker Carlson compete on Monday.
    • Anderson Cooper, Maria Bartiromo and Kwiesi Mfume compete on Tuesday.
    • Ari Fleischer, Ashleigh Banfield and Aaron Brown compete on Wednesday.
    • Al Franken, Gretchen Carlson and Keith Olbermann compete on Thursday.
    • Tim Russert, Christie Whitman and Tavis Smiley on Friday.
  • On the May 31, 2004 episode, Anne Boyd finishes with a 4-day total of $84,600.

June 2004[]

  • On the June 2, 2004 episode, Ken Jennings makes his first Jeopardy! appearance. This episode also reran on May 4, 2020.
  • On the June 10, 2004 episode, Ken Jennings sets an all-time high for a Coryat Score of $39,200. This record has not been broken to this day.

July 2004[]

  • On the July 13, 2004 episode, Ken Jennings becomes the first contestant to break $1,000,000 mark in regular gameplay.
  • Season 20 of Jeopardy! wraps up on July 23, 2004, and Ken Jennings sets a new one-day record of $75,000.
  • Summer repeats air from July 26 to September 3, 2004, with repeats later airing on weekends from September 11, 2004 to September 10, 2005.
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