‘Jeopardy!’ kicked off its 37th season this week with some changes to its set, but what especially excited viewers was the return of host Alex Trebek.
It’s the same game, just a bit more socially distanced. "Jeopardy!" unveiled its new socially distanced set on Monday as it kicked off its 37th season. The redesigned set included the separation of the lectern to provide for extra social distancing from the players who are competing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I believe we are the first quiz show to come back on the air in the COVID-19 era,” longtime host Alex Trebek told the Today show. “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, 80, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer last March, had been continually updating fans with his ongoing treatment.
“I feel good, and I feel excited because once again, ‘Jeopardy!' has demonstrated that it’s at the forefront of television programming,” he told Today.
On the show’s Twitter page a photograph unveils some of the fancy new upgrades, including a new logo, new set piece, separated contestant lecterns, new raised stage, socially distanced judges table and a new lectern for Trebek. There is no audience.
According to the news network, the designers of the show have been busy executing this new look during the show’s COVID-10 hiatus. In the meantime, classic early-season episodes and popular tournaments throughout the years have been airing to keep fans engaged and excited for the game show’s next chapter.
To accommodate the socially-distance guidelines, and be mindful of Trebek’s health, the three contestant podiums were positioned a safe distance from Trebek.
A statement released explained the protocols in place, aligned with current government guidelines, to protect contestants, staff, crew, and talent, according to Today.