2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

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jeopardyfan939
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2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by jeopardyfan939 »

2020 has been a not-so-great year for Jeopardy! most of the time. But don't get me wrong; the year started on a good note. We had 8-time champion MacKenzie Jones. Then there was the Greatest of All-Time tourney, in which Ken Jennings finally won a tournament and prevailed over Brad Rutter (initially I was rather disappointed that James lost because I was rooting for him during the event). After that, Paul Trifiletti won 5 episodes. But then COVID-19 hit and suspended production of new episodes, thus Season 36 ended in the middle of June. But on a bright note, Ken Jennings' first and last episodes were re-aired along with the GOAT tournament. And after the season concluded (Zach Newkirk won his 4th game), TPTB reran several older episodes from the syndicated series — most notably the series premiere on 9/10/1984, Chuck Forrest and Frank Spangenberg obliterating records, select Celebrity Jeopardy! episodes, The Million Dollar Masters Tournament. Taping resumed towards the end of July. Then we kick off Season 37 with several changes. Mike Richards succeeds Harry Friedman as the executive producer of both Jeopardy! and its sister show Wheel of Fortune. Ken Jennings joins the production staff and does video clues. The set is slightly modified to accommodate social distancing measures. Due to travel restrictions, most contestants reside in California; and so far, no tournaments have been held. Kevin Walsh becomes a 5-time champion, the 4th in which he is the only player in FJ! Then Alex passes away on November 8. And older episodes where Alex is giving video clues are reran during the last two weeks of 2020 (including the first day of 2021).

What's in store for 2021? Well, from January 4-8 is when Alex's last episodes air; and January 11 is when we'll see rotating interim hosts starting with Ken Jennings. But what else is in store?

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by MarkBarrett »

The College Championship with some kind of tag team action?

If Celebrity Wheel of Fortune does well in prime time then Celebrity J!?

A FJ! clue with Alex Trebek as the correct response.

A tribute category based on things AT hosted?

The return of Zach Newkirk is strongly rumored to have already happened.

A woman hosts J!

As long as Ken Jennings is doing Tuesday Trivia I am not convinced he will be named the permanent host.

If Paramount+ fails then there goes early J! viewing for those who have been utilizing CBS All Access.

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by opusthepenguin »

Guest we'll have to wait a week and a day to know the names of the last three contestants of the Trebek era. That's kind of a sad distinction, but definitely one I'd mention if it were me.

So who was the last contestant to speak with Alex from less than 6 feet away?

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by jeopardyfan939 »

MarkBarrett wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:46 pm
The College Championship with some kind of tag team action?

If Celebrity Wheel of Fortune does well in prime time then Celebrity J!?

A FJ! clue with Alex Trebek as the correct response.

A tribute category based on things AT hosted?

The return of Zach Newkirk is strongly rumored to have already happened.

A woman hosts J!

As long as Ken Jennings is doing Tuesday Trivia I am not convinced he will be named the permanent host.

If Paramount+ fails then there goes early J! viewing for those who have been utilizing CBS All Access.
Celebrity Jeopardy! was most popular in the '90s, and its popularity gradually declined throughout the 2000s. In fact, there was a 5-year gap between the Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational in Season 26 and the most recent Celebrity Jeopardy! event in Season 31; there hasn't been a CJ! event held since S31. But I wouldn't see why not revive the event again.

However, I can think of at least two reasons CJ! hasn't been as popular starting in the 2000s:

• The material isn't as difficult as regular competition or tournaments (in particular the Tournament of Champions)
• In most CJ! episodes, not all of the clues are revealed; in fact, more clues remain on the board than on regular episodes or during tournaments
• I think CJ! especially became less popular when Ken Jennings went on his historic run.

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by talkingaway »

opusthepenguin wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:19 pm
Guest we'll have to wait a week and a day to know the names of the last three contestants of the Trebek era. That's kind of a sad distinction, but definitely one I'd mention if it were me.

So who was the last contestant to speak with Alex from less than 6 feet away?
I assume it would have to be one of the 3 on Zach Newkirk's last (or, perhaps more accurately, most recently aired) episode, no? Oh, wait - they started some precautions even before that, like the lack of an audience. I think that lasted for one week (10 episodes), right, taped around the week of March 9? I had a very minor medical procedure that very day, and I don't think public social distancing guidelines were out then - no blocked off chairs in the waiting room, IIRC. At that point, questions by the medical staff to assess COVID risk were still concentrating on travel to China, but knowing what we know now, they really should have asked me if I'd been at the Biogen conference nearby. (I hadn't.)

If those 10 audience-free shows placed a Cone of Cleanliness around Trebek and stopped the post-show chit-chat at center stage's neutral territory, that would push it back to the episode that aired on May 1, presumably taped either the first week of March or late February. I'm pretty sure we were all living normal lives back then - I saw my last live theater March 4, and I would have been among the first to say "Screw COVID, I'm staying home" for something like that.
jeopardyfan939 wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:53 am
Celebrity Jeopardy! was most popular in the '90s, and its popularity gradually declined throughout the 2000s. In fact, there was a 5-year gap between the Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational in Season 26 and the most recent Celebrity Jeopardy! event in Season 31; there hasn't been a CJ! event held since S31. But I wouldn't see why not revive the event again.

However, I can think of at least two reasons CJ! hasn't been as popular starting in the 2000s:

• The material isn't as difficult as regular competition or tournaments (in particular the Tournament of Champions)
• In most CJ! episodes, not all of the clues are revealed; in fact, more clues remain on the board than on regular episodes or during tournaments
• I think CJ! especially became less popular when Ken Jennings went on his historic run.
J! fans (and general game show fans) probably do know that celebrity shows frequently feature much easier trivia questions. And while I imagine a "normie" might guess that there's typically a difficulty gap, they might not actively think about it, or may underestimate it. I wonder if SNL's skits highlighted this fact to the general public, so that the cat's out of the bag.

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by seaborgium »

talkingaway wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:05 am
If those 10 audience-free shows placed a Cone of Cleanliness around Trebek and stopped the post-show chit-chat at center stage's neutral territory, that would push it back to the episode that aired on May 1, presumably taped either the first week of March or late February.
They did away with post-game chats at center stage well before that.

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by talkingaway »

seaborgium wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:28 pm
talkingaway wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:05 am
If those 10 audience-free shows placed a Cone of Cleanliness around Trebek and stopped the post-show chit-chat at center stage's neutral territory, that would push it back to the episode that aired on May 1, presumably taped either the first week of March or late February.
They did away with post-game chats at center stage well before that.
You're right - been watching too many reruns. But I'm pretty sure Alex's chit-chat by the lecterns would have at least broken the 6 foot barrier, right?

Incidentally, archive question - would it make sense to acknowledge the last game taped with an audience pre-pandemic / first game taped without a studio audience? Seems like a worthy milestone.

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

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MarkBarrett wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:46 pm
As long as Ken Jennings is doing Tuesday Trivia I am not convinced he will be named the permanent host.
I'm becoming less and less convinced it will be possible based on the ever-growing swell of outrage against Ken. It's really turning into a witch hunt out there and Ken's being painted as a monster based almost exclusively on two tweets.
Yes, I know it's just social media mentality, but there's so much vitriol every day that the showrunners have to be feeling some pressure...
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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by threearruda »

I hope we see the next ToC before the end of the season, if it's feasible.
ParrotRob wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:11 am
I'm becoming less and less convinced it will be possible based on the ever-growing swell of outrage against Ken. It's really turning into a witch hunt out there and Ken's being painted as a monster based almost exclusively on two tweets.
Yes, I know it's just social media mentality, but there's so much vitriol every day that the showrunners have to be feeling some pressure...
At the risk of derailing the thread, I feel like I am (or maybe will be) having flashbacks to that time when Tennessee Vols football was in search of a new head coach a few years back. When the Vols made a deal with Greg Schiano, the die-hard fan base went berserk, leaned on alleged misconduct from fifteen years prior, then protested heavily on campus and social media before the Vols' decision makers caved, backed out of the deal and hired Jeremy Pruitt.. who, as it turned out, was probably a worse choice than Schiano. There was a lot of criticism from the media over the handling of this.

While I agree with you that all of this stuff with KJ seems out of line and the show needs to pay attention to what its die-hard fans and media are saying, the show also needs to stick to their guns based on who they think the best choice is, be it KJ or someone else. There's a reason why we the fans are not getting paid to make these decisions LOL.

Besides, if the show does well with its new host while maintaining its dignity and image on and off camera, there should be no reason to complain (...at least I won't, anyway LOL). I personally think that Jimmy McGuire is the best choice for the permanent role for a number of reasons, but there should not be any vitriol yet regardless of how the show proceeds over the next few months.

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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

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I thought Pruitt was a fantastic hire for Tennessee.

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

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ParrotRob wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:11 am
MarkBarrett wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:46 pm
As long as Ken Jennings is doing Tuesday Trivia I am not convinced he will be named the permanent host.
I'm becoming less and less convinced it will be possible based on the ever-growing swell of outrage against Ken. It's really turning into a witch hunt out there and Ken's being painted as a monster based almost exclusively on two tweets.
Yes, I know it's just social media mentality, but there's so much vitriol every day that the showrunners have to be feeling some pressure...
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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by Robert K S »

talkingaway wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:36 pm
Incidentally, archive question - would it make sense to acknowledge the last game taped with an audience pre-pandemic / first game taped without a studio audience?
Wouldn't this just be the end of S36?

And so in answer to Opus's question, wouldn't it be "One of Matt Napolitano, Kelly Lake, or Zach Newkirk", or "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"

Or maybe there were a couple of weeks of S36 games taped without audiences? In any case, they weren't keeping the contestants six feet apart back then.

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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by Bamaman »

I don’t think they will do a celebrity week while they are using the rotating interim hosts. Someone trying to learn the ropes doesn’t need the extra hassle of dealing with contestants who aren’t talking the show seriously. Plus the focus needs to be on establishing the new host and not some D list “star” trying to be funny.

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Re: 2020 in review and whats in store for 2021

Post by talkingaway »

Robert K S wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:54 am
talkingaway wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:36 pm
Incidentally, archive question - would it make sense to acknowledge the last game taped with an audience pre-pandemic / first game taped without a studio audience?
Wouldn't this just be the end of S36?

And so in answer to Opus's question, wouldn't it be "One of Matt Napolitano, Kelly Lake, or Zach Newkirk", or "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"

Or maybe there were a couple of weeks of S36 games taped without audiences? In any case, they weren't keeping the contestants six feet apart back then.
IIRC, they did 2 days of taping (10 days of shows) in early March that were with no studio audience (other than staff and other contestants - and perhaps one guest per contestant?) - but, yes, it was on the old set with no six-foot boundaries. Astute viewers might notice that for those 10 shows in a row, they had none of the shots of the audience.

Here's the links to the game recaps of the last audience show taped, and first audience-free show:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5690

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5701

There's a few references to the audience situation in each thread. The last episode SHOWN with a studio audience was the finals of the Teachers Tourney, because they had banked that early.

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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by Robert K S »

I have added a note in the Archive. http://www.j-archive.com/showseason.php?season=36

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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by jeopardyfan939 »

Bamaman wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:17 pm
I don’t think they will do a celebrity week while they are using the rotating interim hosts. Someone trying to learn the ropes doesn’t need the extra hassle of dealing with contestants who aren’t talking the show seriously. Plus the focus needs to be on establishing the new host and not some D list “star” trying to be funny.
But would they do a College Championship, Teen Tournament, or Teachers Tournament with rotating interim hosts?

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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by Cat Hammarskjold »

I think that they wouldn't want Ken (or Brad, James, Pam, Colby, etc.) as the permanent host because that would make a whole lot of serious trivia players ineligible to be on the show.

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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by ParrotRob »

Cat Hammarskjold wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:36 am
I think that they wouldn't want Ken (or Brad, James, Pam, Colby, etc.) as the permanent host because that would make a whole lot of serious trivia players ineligible to be on the show.
One could make a pretty good argument that recent history suggests they're not exactly after a "whole lot of serious trivia players".
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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by triviawayne »

ParrotRob wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:00 am
Cat Hammarskjold wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:36 am
I think that they wouldn't want Ken (or Brad, James, Pam, Colby, etc.) as the permanent host because that would make a whole lot of serious trivia players ineligible to be on the show.
One could make a pretty good argument that recent history suggests they're not exactly after a "whole lot of serious trivia players".
In that same argument, would you also mention "they took what they could get just to put on a show"?
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Re: 2020 in review and what's in store for 2021

Post by Woof »

ParrotRob wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:00 am
Cat Hammarskjold wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:36 am
I think that they wouldn't want Ken (or Brad, James, Pam, Colby, etc.) as the permanent host because that would make a whole lot of serious trivia players ineligible to be on the show.
One could make a pretty good argument that recent history suggests they're not exactly after a "whole lot of serious trivia players".
A number of us who auditioned at Trivia Nationals in 2019 came to pretty much the same conclusion.

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