As an avid jeopardy watcher, I am sad to relay this message. This week the final Jeopardy episodes hosted by Alex Trebek will air.
Starting January 4 through January 8, the final five episodes will be aired. According to USA Today, the last five were recorded and hosted by Trebek in late October.
Trebek has hosted the long-running game show since 1984; he passed last month on November 8 from pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old. The January 8 episode will feature a tribute to the late host who hosted over 8,000 episodes of the hit show.
Ken Jennings, who holds Jeopardy’s record for the longest winning streak, will be the guest host starting on January 11.
Executive producer Mike Richards spoke with Entertainment Weekly about Trebek’s last filmed episode before his death, “He had been out with the surgery, and I wasn’t sure he would be back to tape those days,” Richards told EW. “So for the few of us that knew what exactly was going on, there was a heightened sense in the room. I had chills throughout the first taping on that Monday, because I was watching him, going, ‘How is he doing this?’ He came in at a higher level than normal, and his normal was excellent. On that first episode, he walked out, and you’ll see it when it airs, he gives this amazing speech about the holidays and coming together and being strong and taking care of each other. And we didn’t know he was gonna do that; he just walked out and did it.”
The five episodes were recorded over two days. Richard said the late host was “exhausted” during the tapings.
“You’ll watch them and you’ll go, ‘This guy’s as healthy as could be. This is not a sick person at all.’ He had that much willpower. And we knew how much he was fighting, and that’s what made the performance even more impressive.”