A new season of Jeopardy! is filming in Culver City. Reports from the tapings are reassuring for fans of Ken Jennings. Since he and Mayim Bialik are now permanent co-hosts, a minor but significant change has finally occurred.
Your Host Of ‘Jeopardy!’…
When Mike Richards left Jeopardy! in disgrace, he was replaced by Bialik and Jennings. The two hosted exactly 110 games apiece and each curried favor with some fans. The internet being the internet, toxic tribalism immediately took hold. Fans of Jennings resented one minor detail in the show’s opening.
Every episode of Jeopardy! begins with Johnny Gilbert iconically saying “This is Jeopardy!” He introduces the contestants and the host. The problem was he would have different intros depending on who was hosting. Bialik got the Alex Trebek treatment: “And now here is the host of Jeopardy!, Mayim Bialik.”
Jennings got a slightly different introduction: “And now hosting Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings.” he was simply hosting, not the host. This implied a hierarchy behind the lectern: Jennings was just keeping Bialik’s seat warm while she filmed Call me Kat.
Jennings Fans Rejoice
With tapings underway, reports are leaking out from fans in attendance. Attending a Jeopardy! taping is not easy, but there’s also no NDA—which means fans are free to discuss what happens there. It’s poor form to reveal winners and losers, but one can reveal the little details.
Buyavowel is an unofficial Jeopardy! message board where super-fans can discuss everything on the show. One fan who attended a taping wrote down some nuts and bolts from the taping.
Jennings was introduced as “the host of Jeopardy!.” He’s finally a permanent part of the show. Why it has not been this way since Trebek’s passing is anyone’s guest. The audience member adds that Jennings comically spoiled his first line and had to redo it.
Other Taping Notes
The music and set are the exact same, nor have the graphics been changed—at least not yet. We also learn that Jennings is still warming up to tapings. This was his first time hosting in front of an audience, and he welcomed the audience during the first break. Trebek would usually joke around with the audience and take questions. Only time will tell if Jennings or Bialik get comfortable enough to do the same.
If previous years are any indication, season 39 of Jeopardy! should debut in September. Then comes the hotly anticipated Tournament of Champions. We can’t wait.