‘Jeopardy!’: Watch How the Set Has Dramatically Changed Through the Years

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images)

What is 7?  That is the answer to the question: How many different sets has the classic game show Jeopardy! had during its time on television. 

With its distinctive take on the classic quiz show model, Jeopardy! has long been a household favorite. Each weekday afternoon since its premiere, Jeopardy! fans both and young and old, have regularly enjoyed attempting to best some of the world’s most knowledgeable contestants.  

While the “answer/question” style made famous by the daytime Emmy Award-winning game show has steadfastly remained constant since the premiere in the 1980s, the set has seen several updates. 

“Jeopardy!” Set is a Reflection of the Times

The first set that found its way into the homes of the game show’s dedicated viewers each afternoon was certainly a sign of the times. Much of this original 1984 Jeopardy! set was decorated with gigantic shimmering gold letters spelling out “JEOPARDY!” set against a burnt-orange backdrop.

The golden color scheme continued onto the floor with a golden shag-like carpet. Wood paneling surrounds the monitors on which the clues were highlighted. 

The small monitors offered the set a sort of 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe. The podiums were large and almost reminiscent of the floor televisions that became popular in the 1970s. This set remained until the start of season 7 in the early 1990s. 

In 1991, the Jeopardy! set saw a massive state-of-the-art overhaul. The new season premiered with a sleek and modern look to reflect the times. First, the carpet was removed and replaced with a shiny floor that reflected the clue monitors. The gold “JEOPARDY!” letters were replaced with a crisper set of white letters that lit up in a variety of exciting colors.

Additionally, the monitors were larger and appeared to be a little more streamlined. The contest podiums were narrowed and raised a bit. 

Five years later, the set was given yet another overhaul. This time, the set brought back some of the original wood paneling design. The enormous Jeopardy! logo letters were this time transitioned to a set of sliding doors from which longtime host Alex Trebek would emerge at the start of each show. The contestant’s podiums were widened and lowered a bit.

Adding a Modern Edge to a Classic Game Show

By 2002, the famous set was ready for an update. Blue and gold were the colors this time. The Jeopardy! logo was moved onto the monitor wall, appearing when the clues and categories were not being shown. The contestant podiums were updated with an entirely new design. 

In 2006, the set received a few updates, with brighter golds and oranges, but overall, much of the set stayed the same. 

In both 2009 and 2013, the set saw some of its biggest changes. The golden tones largely disappeared except for a few accents on podiums or along the top of the set. In 2009, modern design was implemented replacing the rounded stage on which Alex Trebek hosted, replacing it with streamlined edges. In 2013, the stage was eliminated altogether putting Trebek on the game floor with the contestants.