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Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time in 2020: When the show airs as Alex Trebek shares what to expect

Alex Trebek: "I hope I have been an influence for good," speaking live from the TCA in Pasadena, Pic credit: ABC.
Alex Trebek speaks live at the Winter 2020 TCAs in Pasadena. Pic credit: ABC.

Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time rocked the airwaves last night and continues tonight. This is an epic ABC television event that pits the three highest money winners in the long-running game show’s history: Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer.

The first to win three nights will win it all.

Mr. Jennings boasts a record 74-game winning streak, Rutter holds the title for the most money won on the series and Holzhauer is the record holder for all 15 of the top single-game winnings records on the series.

All in all, there are twenty Jeopardy records that these three men bring to the yard. Think of this as the Superbowl for brainiacs.

Alex Trebek hosts and as the fan favorites will compete in a series of matches with the first to win three receiving $1 million and the title of The Greatest of All Time. The two runners up will each receive $250,000.

At the Television Critics’ Association today in Pasadena, Mr. Trebek said, “From my point of view, it doesn’t get any better than this.”

The rules of the tournament are simple. The trio will play two games back to back, and whoever has the highest combined winnings in a night wins the match.

A player must win three matches to win the tournament, which means the series could end as early as Thursday, January 9, or go on for seven nights depending on who wins and when.

The series event kicked off  Tuesday night with an hour-long prime-time match between James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter.

As you can imagine, the questions are more challenging than the normal rounds. The winner of this event will take home $1 million and bragging rights as the GOAT.

Are these smarty pants too good for their own good? Mr. Trebek seems to think that the event will show who can take the crown.

“The personality of the contestants has to come,” Alex Trebek said of Jeopardy! contestants. “People at home have to be able to relate to these guys, and they do.”

EP Harry Friedman said on panel that they don’t have another host lined up for when Mr. Trebek’s desire to quietly exit happens.  Mr. Trebek admitted that he didn’t see that moment coming in “the near future.”

But when it does? He’ll “drink.”

“I made this decision a long time ago. It would be the same as when I shaved my mustache. I’ll do it on a whim.” Mr. Trebek said about when he decided to exit the series and that he will ask Executive Producer Harry Freedman for 30 seconds at the end of the show to say goodbye.

Mr. Trebek added, “Even though you’re not going to use a particular piece of knowledge in your everyday life, it becomes part of you and enriches you. The more you know, the easier it will be to understand everything else going on in the world.”

Of his legacy, he said, “I hope I’ve been an influence for good and an influence for the benefits of not minimizing the importance of knowledge in one’s life.”

Candidly speaking about his health, Mr. Trebek said. “Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad … but hey, it comes with the territory.”

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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