Months after it went off the air, Jeopardy! is officially returning. On Thursday, following a three-month hiatus prompted by coronavirus-related production shutdowns, the beloved game show confirmed that it will be returning to TV screens with new episodes on Monday, Sept. 14.
"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, who is battling pancreatic cancer, said in an announcement, TVLine reports. "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."
#Jeopardy37 starts September 14 with some exciting changes!September 3, 2020
Jeopardy! suspended production in March, along with most other productions, as coronavirus-related shutdowns were imposed nationwide. With production paused, the series ran out of new episodes in June, prompting it to air previous episodes, during which time Trebek expressed a desire to be among the first shows to jump back into action. In a statement, a representative had stated that "Alex is looking forward to resuming production as soon as we are able to do so. He’s told us he wants to be one of the first shows back in production."
Trebek got his wish not long after, with Jeopardy! resuming production in late July or early August alongside Wheel of Fortune, albeit with some changes to ensure the health and safety of those on set. Along with filming five episodes a day, two days a week, the Jeopardy! set underwent some alterations, the stage being redesigned to allow for social distancing between the three contestant podiums.
"Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are returning to the studio to tape episodes for the shows' upcoming seasons," a statement from the studio read at the time. "The productions have protocols in place in accordance with current government guidelines to protect contestants, staff, crew and talent from the spread of COVID-19. While some things may have changed behind the scenes and on the set to keep everyone safe, fans can expect to see the same Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! they have come to love when the season starts."
Along with the confirmed premiere date, Thursday's announcement also included the reveal that Ken Jennings, the recently-crowned Jeopardy! G.O.A.T., will be joining the series as a consulting producer. Under this role, Jennings will "present his own special video categories, develop projects, assist with contestant outreach, and serve as a general ambassador for the show."