Who is the greatest Jeopardy! player of all time? Did you answer “Ken Jennings? You’ll be thrilled to learn that Jennings is returning to the show in a new capacity.
Jeopardy! is coming back to television with its 37th season on September 14. Host Alex Trebek will be making his way back to the stage, too. Though there isn’t a studio audience in this season, it’s largely the same show you remember.
Filming began on Season 37 with a familiar face at the helm. Champion Ken Jennings performed duties as a consulting producer this time around. In addition to presenting “special video categories,” he assisted with contestant outreach, develop projects, and acted as a Jeopardy! general ambassador. That means his special brand of quiz knowledge will be imprinted all over the show.
Jennings will see his first video category airing on September 15. Previously, he ended up emerging victorious against James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter in “The Greatest of All Time” Jeopardy! Tournament in January.
Initially, he was unsure he would actually defeat his opponent, and told show producers he didn’t want to do it.
“They were very persistent,” Jennings said. “They did not want the empty podium.” It’s a good thing he didn’t let his lack of confidence at the time get to him.
It’s easy to lose faith when you aren’t sure of your own abilities. Plus, Jennings feels he’s “not as sharp as he used to be.” In the end, however, he decided he’d do his best. He participated in the tournament, even though he felt he was doomed to lose to the talented Holzhauer.
“I’m going to have a good time,” he said of his experience. “This is almost certainly my last time playing Jeopardy!. Let’s let me just enjoy every minute of it. And I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I planned.”
Now that Jennings is a part of the show that helped catapult him into society’s collective consciousness, it should be interesting to see what kind of influence he’ll have on the show in general.
[H/T: USA Today]