Friday, January 8, 2021 will serve as the final airdate of a Jeopardy! episode hosted by the late Alex Trebek. That show, filmed a mere 10 days before Trebek’s death from pancreatic cancer, as well as the future of the estimable gameshow was the subject of a recent in-depth interview with series executive producer Mike Richards.
Jeopardy! Exec. Previews Alex Trebek’s Final Episodes
Richards revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Trebek’s final taping session had taken a toll on the ailing host – though he never let it show. “Those final five episodes, we shot three the first day and then two the second day, and they were great.
“You’ll watch them and you’ll go, ‘This guy’s as healthy as could be. This is not a sick person at all.’ He had that much willpower. And we knew how much he was fighting, and that’s what made the performance even more impressive.”
Richards went on to explain that he had decided to delay airing Trebek’s final episodes until the new year because “we wanted our fans and the fans of Alex to be able to really not feel stressed to see his final episodes, and really savor those last five.” And savor the fans certainly will.
In the meantime Jeopardy!, the series that Richards assures Trebek cared for “at a very high level,” will continue on as usual – its risk of cancellation extremely low.
But what about the question millions of fans have been seeking an answer to, namely: who will permanently replace Trebek as host of the beloved game show? On that subject, Richards remains mum.
However, he does speak about the attributes expected of the interim guest hosts like the already announced Ken Jennings, and they’re ones that Trebek himself exemplified.
“We’re gonna look at…people that are credible giving the clues, people that can actually give the clues accurately, that are going to be able to rule right or wrong on the responses, and that Jeopardy! fans will enjoy in that role, but that will not try to make themselves the star, and will work to make the contestants and the game the star.”
Richards also promises that the guest hosts will consist of some, “big names” that fans will undoubtedly approve of, as well as a few surprises that he hopes will make viewers think, “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that person…” Jeopardy! airs weekdays in syndication. Check your local listings for airtimes.