Alex Trebek Returns to 'Jeopardy!' For Season 37 Amid Cancer Battle
By Emily Lee
September 15, 2020
Jeopardy! is back after its months long COVID-19 hiatus.
On Monday (September 14), Alex Trebek took the Jeopardy! stage to welcome viewers to the iconic game show's 37th season. "Welcome, welcome, welcome, as Jeopardy! begins its 37th season of original quiz programming, with a few changes having been made to adjust for COVID-19," Trebek began the episode. "We are trying to provide as safe an environment as possible as we produce these new programs for your enjoyment."
As fans of the beloved quiz show know, Trebek is still undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The production is taking an abundance of caution when it comes to Trebek's presence on set. Not only are they following the required COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for all the cast and crew, they're taking extra care because Trebek's diagnosis puts him in the high risk category.
Ken Jennings, who has a special role as consulting producer on Jeopardy! this season, spoke about the precautions the show is taking to ensure Trebek's safety on Good Morning America. “The set’s been a little bit spruced up this season,” Jennings explained” “The thing you’ll notice for COVID is that the individual contestant podiums — the lecterns — are now socially distanced. They’re feet apart from each other instead of being a single bank. And 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.”
Despite his recent hardships, Trebek shared he was excited to get back on set in a press release earlier this summer. "I feel good, and I feel excited because once again Jeopardy! has demonstrated that it’s at the forefront of television programming. I believe we are the first quiz show to come back on the air in the COVID-19 era," he said. "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."
Jeopardy! airs weekdays at 7 p.m. EST on ABC.