Season 37 to Premiere September 14, 2020; Newkirk Won’t Defend Yet

Jeopardy!'s Season 37 Set

Here’s what we know so far about the 37th season of Jeopardy!:

  • It premieres Monday, September 14.
  • Mike Richards has replaced Harry Friedman as Executive Producer.
  • Ken Jennings has been named a Consulting Producer, presenting special video categories, developing projects, assisting with contestant outreach, and serving as a general ambassador for the show.
  • Casting is now entirely virtual. The first part of the process is the Jeopardy! Anytime Test, with further audition rounds taking place via Zoom.
  • The set has been updated, with space between the three players in order to ensure that contestants are sufficiently distanced from each other and Alex Trebek. (See above photo). Additionally, the show has instituted COVID testing for contestants, staff, crew, and contestants; contestants have needed to report to the studio a few days before taping and pass a test at the studio prior to being allowed to be a contestant.
  • All contestants to begin the season will be from Southern California, in order to prevent the spread of COVID from other parts of the country. Furthermore, The Jeopardy! Fan has learned that Zach Newkirk will not be defending his title on the September 14 episode and will return on a later date. Zach becomes the third champion in the Sky’s the Limit era (which began in September 2003) not immediately able to defend their title; Priscilla Ball (in 2009) and Claudia Corriere (in 2015-16) are the first two.

I hope everyone is looking forward to the return of the show on September 14!

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14 Comments on "Season 37 to Premiere September 14, 2020; Newkirk Won’t Defend Yet"

  1. Prithvi Sudhakar | September 8, 2020 at 5:39 pm |

    I was looking forward to seeing Zach play. Hopefully he can play for that important fifth win and be in the next ToC…

    which I don’t know will be this season or next.

  2. Yay! Best of health and luck to all. How do they insert a prior champion from an earlier time, like Zach here? What happens to “yesterday’s champion”?

    • There would be two champions, similar to the co-champions before ties were introduced, with only one challenger.

      • Chris Stratton | September 8, 2020 at 6:53 pm |

        Yes, that’s definitely what will happen once Zach is able to come back. For Monday show, presumably it will be three new contestants, with a random draw to determine who gets which podium.

  3. Vaughn Winchell | September 8, 2020 at 7:14 pm |

    That’s a kind of vague portfolio the show has given Ken. I don’t mean to be critical here, but it just doesn’t seem like a whole lot of…well, work.

  4. Excellent reporting as always, Andy. Any word of other changes to the production, such as graphics and music? Wondering if Mike Richards has anything up his sleeve.

  5. With all the initial contestants this season being “local”, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some of them introduced as “originally from…”, to make it less obvious to the viewers at home that everyone has just driven in for the show.

  6. Michael Schwartz | September 9, 2020 at 12:08 am |

    Tuesday’s repeat was the first game that Zach won. It was a wild one, where challenger Zach came back from a $7500 deficit ($7300 to -$200) at the end of the Jeopardy! round.

  7. Great reporting as always, Andy. Any changes to the production you have been made aware of besides the revamped set design (music, graphics, etc.)?

  8. Adam Francois Watkins | September 9, 2020 at 11:24 pm |

    Loved seeing some of the shows from the vault, but also really excited to get the new shows, and hope that they have been able to tape without any covid transmission.

  9. I can’t think of a better ambassador for the show than the GOAT Ken Jennings…great!! 👍🙂

  10. Brad (not Rutter) | September 10, 2020 at 7:47 pm |

    I am wondering if anyone else noticed that Zach seemed to have a sore throat on his final episode. Especially early in the show. Or maybe I am way off…

  11. Just good to finally see a new episode! And especially good to see Alex as sharp as ever!

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