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JEOPARDY! New Producer Ken Jennings: "Alex Trebek's health is top priority"

You know that part of every Jeopardy! episode, right after the first commercial break, when host Alex Trebek mingles with the contestants? Don’t expect to see that in the era of COID-19.

Ken Jennings, a former contestant who won the show’s Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament in January, has been named a consulting producer for the show’s 37th season. During an appearance Monday on Good Morning America, he explained that Trebek will no longer approach players at all. The show aired its first new episode Sept. 14 after having shut down production in March.

“Trebek will stay at the host’s podium, instead of coming over to the contestants because Alex’s health is priority No. 1 on that set,” Jennings explained on Good Morning America.

“He’s the last of the old-school broadcasters — the way he’s in people’s homes every night,” Jennings said. “People feel like he’s part of the family. I know he’s raring to go. He was not happy about the slightly longer-than-usual Jeopardy! hiatus. He’s excited to be back.”

Trebek, who’s hosted the quiz show since 1984, turned 80 on July 22. His age alone makes him particularly vulnerable to the virus, but he’s also a cancer patient. The beloved TV star revealed in March 2019 that he’d been diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer.

Since then, he’s given fans regular updates on his treatment. He said in July that he was fatigued from treatments but was otherwise “feeling great.”

Trebek noted at the time that changes were in store for the new season.

“We’ve redesigned our set to separate the contestants and myself a little bit more from them,” Trebek said during his own GMA interview. “So we are taking all kinds of precautions. Our testing procedure now is done online.”

In addition, the contestants will stand farther apart and taping will be limited to two days a week.

In Jennings’s new role, he’ll be presenting video categories, reaching out to potential new contestants and working with the smarties who come up with those clues.'

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by Anonymousreply 909/15/2020

Why couldn't they find somebody other than Smug Jennings to be groomed to be the new host?

He has no charisma.

by Anonymousreply 109/14/2020

I agree, R1.

I don't care for Ken Jennings at all.

But he's only a producer, and not on-air.

by Anonymousreply 209/14/2020

[quote] In Jennings’s new role, he’ll be presenting video categories

Looks like he will be on camera.

by Anonymousreply 309/15/2020

In the event of Alex's untimely death, let everyone know I'm available for hosting duties.

by Anonymousreply 409/15/2020

Hopefully, this will pigeonhole Jennings into a behind the camera position.

I heard it on here, But Mo Rocca would be the best choice.

by Anonymousreply 509/15/2020

As long as human douche nozzle "Jeopardy James" isn't in contention for hosting duties, I'm good with whoever it is. Meredith Viera would have been a good choice, but she's currently slumming on some low-rent game show called "25 Words or Less".

by Anonymousreply 609/15/2020

Female game show hosts just aren't the same as male hosts.

Not sure why, but they're not as good or as engaging.

The show would lose viewers with a female host.

by Anonymousreply 709/15/2020

I'm very happy that he has survived to see his 80th birthday and now beyond. Based on his diagnosis the odds were very much against him. I hope he makes it to 2021.

by Anonymousreply 809/15/2020

That courtly and slightly pedantic manner of his cannot be matched. I’m so fond of Trebek.

by Anonymousreply 909/15/2020
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