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Season 37 (2020-2021)[edit | edit source]

Season changes:

  • Mike Richards succeeds Harry Friedman as the new executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune; Richards previously served as the executive producer of The Price Is Right and Let's Make A Deal, and hosted GSN's 2012 revival of The Pyramid and Divided on the same network from 2017-18. Richards is also the executive producer of the 2020 revival of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
  • Ken Jennings becomes a consulting producer. He also presents video clues on occasion and assists with developing projects and contestant outreach, basically becoming a general ambassador to the show.[1]
  • The show's set underwent several modifications:
    • The contestant podiums are redesigned and separated.
    • The host's podium and the large monitor are redesigned; the latter is now mounted on two brown posts.
    • The background became a darker shade of blue.
    • The curved shapes became a lavender and maroon color.
    • The pillar on the right side of the game board was removed.
    • There are two golden arches on the stage floor, one near the game board, and one near the contestant podiums.
    • The last two changes are carried over from the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time special.
  • The opening credits have changed to a redesigned version of the globe logo. The globe zooms in, and we see photographs and footage from the show. Finally, the photographs and footage disappear, and the Jeopardy! logo zooms out with a globe behind it. Then, the Jeopardy! logo zooms forward, in which the "A" reveals the revamped 2013-present set.
  • The Daily Double, Video Daily Double, and split-screen credits gained a new look to match the season's title card.
  • On early episodes of the season:
    • Alex Trebek was still the host.
    • CBS Television Distribution continued to distribute the show.
  • This is the first season to be produced by Sony Pictures Television Studios.
  • This season is both the last season to be distributed by CBS Television Distribution, and the first season to be distributed by the newly-formed CBS Media Ventures.
  • This season is also both the last season with Alex Trebek as the host after 36 seasons, due to his death from pancreatic cancer that he has been suffering since March 2019, and the only season to have a guest host format, where various journalists, former Jeopardy! champions, and syndicated television personalities host the show, until a new host is chosen.
  • Because of Alex's passing, for this season only, the dedication card reads: "Dedicated to Alex Trebek: Forever in our Hearts, Always our Inspiration."
  • Starting with the November 9, 2020 episode, the closing theme ends mid-theme. Previously, the theme music finished the same time as the credits do.
  • This is the first season in which the Teachers Tournament isn't held; and neither the Teen Tournament nor the College Championship are held this season, partly due to COVID-19 travel restrictions early in the season and the rotation of guest hosts.

This season:

  • Season 37 of Jeopardy! premieres on September 14, 2020.
  • On the season premiere, there were three new contestants for the first time since January 19, 2016.
    • Zach Newkirk, an attorney from Alexandria, Virginia, was unable to return for months due to COVID-19 travel restrictions caused by the pandemic. His fifth episode was put on hold until January 28, 2021.
  • From October 8-15, 2020, Kevin Walsh becomes a 5-day champion, accumulating $111,301 in cash winnings. Kevin Walsh was the last 5-time champion whose streak aired during Alex Trebek's lifetime.
  • The October 13, 2020 episode marked the sixth time that only one contestant (Kevin Walsh) participated in the Final Jeopardy! round, making this the last time a single-player Final Jeopardy! round was played in the Alex Trebek era.
  • The November 6, 2020 episode is the final episode aired before Alex's death.
  • On November 8, 2020, Alex Trebek died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
  • The November 9, 2020 episode opens with executive producer Mike Richards paying tribute to Alex Trebek.
  • From November 13-20, 2020, Andy Wood becomes a 4-day champion, accumulating $91,999 in cash winnings. Andy Wood is the first 4-time champion whose streak aired after Alex Trebek's death.
  • From November 25-December 1, 2020, Ryan Hemmel becomes a 4-day champion, accumulating $104,526 in cash winnings.
  • On the December 15, 2020 episode, Brayden Smith makes his Jeopardy! debut.
  • Around the World with Alex airs from December 21, 2020 to January 1, 2021, featuring repeats of Alex's favorite traveling-themed episodes, some of which have been available on Netflix and Hulu.
    • The October 14, 2004 episode (#4624), where Alex presents some hockey-themed video clues with Tie Domi from the Toronto Maple Leafs, was rebroadcast on December 21, 2020. The 2001-2008 theme is replaced by the 2008-present theme during the closing credits.
    • The April 4, 2006 episode (#4972), where Alex presents some clues with the Sesame Street gang, was rebroadcast on December 22, 2020.
    • The September 27, 2007 episode (#5299), where Alex traveled to Kadena Air Force Base in Japan, was rebroadcast on December 23, 2020.
    • The November 6, 2007 episode (#5327), where Alex traveled to Machu Picchu in Peru, was rebroadcast on December 24, 2020.
    • The January 15, 2009 episode (#5609), where Alex traveled to Niagara Falls was rebroadcast on December 25, 2020.
    • The November 23, 2009 episode (#5796), where Alex traveled to Israel, was rebroadcast on December 28, 2020. Additionally, the Jeopardy! round features SNL-themed categories.
    • The December 9, 2009 episode (#5808), where Alex traveled to the Galápagos Islands, was rebroadcast on December 29, 2020.
    • The November 9, 2011 episode (#6243), where Alex traveled to The Metropolitan Opera in New York, was rebroadcast on December 30, 2020.
    • The November 14, 2011 episode (#6246), where Alex traveled to Petra in Jordan, was rebroadcast on December 31, 2020.
    • The February 6, 2017 episode (#7461), where Alex traveled to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., was rebroadcast on January 1, 2021.
  • Alex Trebek's final episodes aired from January 4-8, 2021 (rescheduled from December 21-25, 2020).
    • On the January 4, 2021 episode, Alex Trebek gives an emotional speech about the season of giving.
    • On the January 5, 2021 episode, Brayden Smith's streak ends, with a 5-day total of $115,798, making him the last five-time champion in the Alex Trebek era. Brayden Smith passed away on February 5, 2021 at the age of 24 due to complications following surgery. He is the third such champion to have died before their respective Tournament of Champions.
    • Alex's final episode aired on January 8, 2021. It concluded with a tribute montage, featuring Alex's most memorable moments. The song used in the tribute was the original cast recording of "Once Before I Go" by Hugh Jackman, from the 2003 jukebox musical The Boy From Oz.
  • Starting on the January 11, 2021 episode until the season finale, Jeopardy begins a guest host format.[2]
    • From January 11-February 19, 2021, Ken Jennings served as interim host. His closing phrase was "Thank you, Alex."
      • On the January 11, 2021 episode, Ken gives an opening speech about Alex Trebek. Also, the opening graphics have been changed to remove any prominent footage of Alex.
      • On the January 15, 2021 episode, the 2007 CBS Television Distribution logo made its last appearance on Jeopardy!, and its sister show Wheel of Fortune.
      • On the January 18, 2021 episode, the newly-formed CBS Media Ventures logo made its first appearance on Jeopardy!, and its sister show Wheel of Fortune.
      • From January 19-28, 2021, Brian Chang becomes an 7-day champion, accumulating $163,904 in cash winnings and becoming the first 5-day champion in the post-Trebek era.
      • The January 22, 2021 episode marked the third time a tie-breaker clue was played during regular play in Final Jeopardy!.
      • On the January 28, 2021 episode, Brian Chang was defeated by last season's 4-day champion Zach Newkirk, Newkirk was ultimately defeated on the February 1, 2021 episode.
      • From February 9-12, 2021, John Focht becomes a 4-day champion, accumulating $103,800 in cash winnings.
    • From February 22-March 5, 2021, executive producer Mike Richards served as interim host. His closing phrase referenced the speech Alex Trebek gave on the January 4, 2021 episode, "We're trying to a build a kinder, gentler society, and if we all pitch in, just a little bit, we're gonna get there!"
  • Beginning with the March 8, 2021 episode, Jeopardy! brought various celebrities, who hosts for the remainder of the season. Each celebrity will receive a matching amount for the total won by the contestants during their respective episodes.
    • From March 8-19, 2021, journalist and author Katie Couric served as interim host and raised $230,504 for the Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team from Stand Up to Cancer.
    • From March 22-April 2, 2021, The Doctor Oz Show host and Jeopardy! Power Players contestant Dr. Mehmet Oz served as interim host and raised $268,701 for Healthcorps, Inc.
    • From April 5-16, 2021, Green Bay Packers quarterback and 2015 Celebrity Jeopardy! winner Aaron Rodgers served as interim host and raised $236,725 for North Valley Community Foundation.
    • From April 19-30, 2021, Anderson Cooper 360° anchor and Celebrity Jeopardy! contestant and 2004 Power Players winner Anderson Cooper served as interim host and raised $118,000 for Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti in the first week and $138,197 for Justice Defenders in the second week, with a total of $256,197 for both Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti & Justice Defenders.
      • The April 20, 2021 episode, Jeopardy! is preempted on various stations due to Joe Biden's speech regarding the George Floyd verdict.
    • From May 3-14, 2021, 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker served as interim host and raised $257,998 for Media Fellowship House.
    • From May 17-28, 2021, former Jeopardy! contestant and 2017 Tournament of Champions winner Buzzy Cohen hosted the 2021 Tournament of Champions, with the $250,000 grand prize being matched and donated to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless, This was the first time since 2010 that the Tournament of Champions is held during the month of May, and the first since 2013 to not be held in November. The 2021 Tournament of Champions was also the first post-Trebek Jeopardy! tournament.
      • Sam Kavanaugh, Veronica Vichit-Vadakan, and Jennifer Quail have made it to the finals. Kavanaugh wins the tournament with the $250,000 top prize and becoming the first Tournament of Champions winner in the post-Trebek era.
    • From May 31-June 11, 2021, actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik served as interim host and raised $194,851 for National Alliance on Mental Illness.
    • From June 14-25, 2021, NBC's Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie is serving as interim host playing for The Bowery Mission.
    • From June 28-July 9, 2021, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will serve as interim host playing for Odyessy Atlanta.
  • From the July 12, 2021 episode until the season finale, celebrity guest host weeks are cut from two to one.
    • From July 12-16, 2021, Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos will serve as interim host playing for Share Our Strength.
    • From July 19-23, 2021, Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts will serve as interim host playing for Be The Match.
    • From July 26-30, 2021, actor, former Reading Rainbow host and 1995 Celebrity Jeopardy! winner LeVar Burton will serve as interim host.
    • From August 2-6, 2021, co-host of CNBC’s Squawk on the Street David Faber will serve as interim host.
    • From August 9-13, 2021, Fox Sports announcer Joe Buck will serve as interim host.
  • Season 37 of Jeopardy! concludes on August 13, 2021.
  • Summer repeats begin on August 16, 2021.

References[edit | edit source]


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