The news that both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are both postponing production amid concerns coronavirus hit fans of both game shows hard. And while they join the growing list of productions that have put things on hold in an effort to help slow the virus' spread. Though some are fearing that the health of both hosts, Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak, respectively, may have played a role in their decision.
"With the increasing concern surrounding COVID-19, we have decided to temporarily suspend production on Jeopardy! and [Wheel of Fortune]," the show tweeted from its official account. "The health and well-being of our contestants, staff, and crew are our top priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops."
In March of 2019, Trebek announced that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. While he's maintained his hosting duties since then, he's more recently admitted to some "grim setbacks," and believes that he's "nearing the end" of his life.
Sajak, meanwhile, had to take some time off from 'the Wheel,' due to some emergency surgery. Vanna White took over hosting duties while he was in recovery, though has since been back at the helm of the show.
Given these circumstances, fans were understandably concerned about their well-being.
Take care of yourself, my darling, Alex Trebek!
You Are Loved! 💕
Love2 staff at Jeopardy and WoF, hang in there, all of you!— CynicLgrrl (@CynicLgrrl) March 16, 2020
While safety has become a priority for a number of people in recent days, situations like this end up being a bit of a wake-up call.
thank you, gotta keep alex, pat, and vanna safe too!— Lauren LTrack (@LTRatka) March 16, 2020
Anything to protect the goat Alex— Tayler Beckman (@birdman1023) March 16, 2020
Given their lengthy hosting stints, both Trebek and Sajak have been inside living rooms across America for several decades.
And the health of our beloved Alex Trebeck and Pat Sajak. Be well 🙏❤️😘— katya (@CCsCJ7) March 16, 2020
I’ll take NOW THERES NO POINT TO TELEVISION for $800 Alex.— Dave D (@davidjdickerson) March 16, 2020
Naturally, this kind of longevity has led to viewers growing particularly attached to their television personas.
Be safe. All the best to you all and Alex.— Marshall Flores (@IPreferPi314) March 16, 2020
I’d quarantine for 100 years if it meant keeping Alex and @bradrutter safe!!
I realize Brad has nothing to do with this but he clearly needs to know my commitment level.— omnipotent ondansetron (@PA_Sertraline) March 16, 2020
Trebek had recently hosted the mega-popular Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament in January, which lasted four nights, and ended up with Ken Jennings being crowned the show's GOAT.
I hope everyone in the staff stays safe especially Alex because of his cancer! I will praying for the staff and Alex to stay safe!— Greywell (@Greywell4life) March 16, 2020
Absolutely! Protect Alex and the staff! Be well.— Diane McLaughlin (@Mclaughing02155) March 16, 2020
Despite the tournament going off without a hitch, Trebek later admitted to experiencing some issues while filming.
Keep Alex Trebek healthy and safe at all costs!— Saul Bishop (@SaulBishop) March 16, 2020
Now it’s personal.— J (@TBL_John) March 16, 2020
Over the past 12 months, Trebek has been on the receiving end of an enormous amount of support, some of which ended up catching him off-guard -- and leaving him a little choked up.