Despite Cancer Battle, Alex Trebek Resumes Role of Host for 37th Season of JEOPARDY!
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
JEOPARDY! Host Alex Trebek returned on Monday, September 14, to resume his beloved role as host on the 37th season of ABC’s popular game show despite his ongoing battle with cancer.
“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 said to open the episode.
The show will separate contestants’ lecterns from each other and will require Trebek to adhere to the regulations and safety precautions in place. Trebek says he wants to entertain while still being safe and considerate.
“We are trying to provide as safe environment as possible as we produce these new programs for your enjoyment,” Trebek said.
In a press release that outlined the coronavirus guidelines, Trebek said he is ready for the new season.
“I feel good, and I feel excited because once again Jeopardy! has demonstrated that it’s at the forefront of television programming.”
“On a personal level, I’m excited because it gets me out of the house,” Trebek added. “It gives me something to do on a regular basis, and I was missing that.”
Trebek, 80, is candid about his cancer battle and is currently receiving treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Movieguide® previously reported on Trebek’s fight with cancer:
The TV host’s attitude towards his health changes on a daily basis. One day Trebek says he feels great and on another day, he feels terrible.
Most recently, Trebek said that if this round of his cancer treatment fails, he will stop pursuing treatment altogether.
Still, Trebek puts on a brave face for fans.
A few months ago, Trebek told a fan, “With God’s grace and prayers from people like you, and good wishes from folks everywhere, I’m going to come through like you.”
Mike Richards, the show’s executive producer, agreed with Trebek and said that he hopes the show’s return will encourage people.
“I think the world needs something to be happy about,” Richards said. “So when the greatest quiz show of all time starts airing new episodes, then they can take a deep breath and say, ‘Oh, it’s Jeopardy! It’s the same great show, and it’s even better.'”
Although some changes were made to the show in-house, a studio spokesperson told PEOPLE Magazine that audience members could expect to see their same favorite show airing weekdays at 7 p.m. EST on ABC.
“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,” they shared. “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.”
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