Former Jeopardy! contestant and winner, Ken Jennings is returning to the game show in a permanent role, just months after winning the first Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time tournament. Jennings has signed on to serve as a consulting producer on the syndicated favorite and will introduce special video category clues. The show comes back for a new season on Monday, Sept. 14.
In addition to serving behind the scenes, Jennings will be seen on camera to introduce a special video category, reports TVLine. His duties also include developing new projects, helping out with contestant outreach, and serving as a general ambassador for the show. His first video category will air during the second episode on Sept. 15. "This is so exciting for me. See you in a week and a half," Jennings tweeted Thursday. "I'm not supposed to talk about this, but normally old contestants get 'sent to a farm upstate.'"
Jennings still holds the record for the longest Jeopardy! winning streak with 74 victories. He has earned over $4.5 million from his different appearances on the show, including his original winning streak and subsequent tournament games. In January, Jennings beat Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer in four games to win the Greatest of All Time primetime tournament. Jennings holds the overall title for most money earned from U.S. game shows with over $5.2 million thanks to his appearances on Jeopardy!, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Grand Slam, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and 1 vs. 100.
The Monday, Sept. 14 Jeopardy! episode will be the first new one since the show ran out of episodes produced before the coronavirus pandemic in early June. Production resumed in late July with a set designed to keep contestants and crew safe during the pandemic. "I feel good, and I feel excited because once again Jeopardy! has demonstrated that it’s at the forefront of television programming," host Alex Trebek said in a statement. "I believe we are the first quiz show to come back on the air in the COVID-19 era. On a personal level, I’m excited because it gets me out of the house. It gives me something to do on a regular basis, and I was missing that."
Trebek is battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek is now taking experimental immunotherapy. "My current numbers are very good, but we will have to be patient with this new immunotherapy program that I am on. But, if it were to stop being successful, I would return to my previous chemo treatment, NOT stop all treatment," Trebek said in a July update. He told fans he is "optimistic about my current plan, and thank them for their concerns."