Last Wednesday, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a guest appearance on The Conners. He filled a role that he is very familiar with as of late — guest host of Jeopardy!. As we all know by now, Rodgers is coming off of a recent two-week stint as the guest host on the popular television game show.
And although The Conners episode featuring Rodgers had some hilarious moments, there was much more to it. The real story behind the show’s big Jeopardy! moment goes way back. Co-creators and executive producers of The Conners, Bruce Helford, and Dave Caplan, told CinemaBlend that the original plan was to feature the legendary Alex Trebek.
“We had approached ‘Jeopardy’ a long time ago and it was just kind of a secret thing going along,” Helford said. “But during the pandemic, it was really touch and go. Of course, because of Alex’s health, it was touch and go. It was originally planned to be with Alex on the show. We had written it, Alex had signed off and said, ‘Great, let’s do it.’ And then, unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse.”
Aaron Rodgers Fills in for Alex Trebek on ‘The Conners’
Although the sitcom’s goal was to bring on Alex Trebek, sadly, that was not meant to be. But after going over their options in Alex Trebek’s absence, Helford said that The Conners team got back in touch with the show.
“When that happened, we talked to people at ‘Jeopardy!’, and we said, ‘Well, do you think there’s any way we can still do this? We’d still love to have her on the show. We’ve kinda built it up in our show.’ And they said, ‘Yes, but give us time because it’s a really difficult time.'”
“And then when Aaron Rodgers decided to do it, they thought, ‘You know what? This is a good time to do it.’ So we said that’s great because we knew built-in was the Packers-Bears thing. So it’s like a lot of gifts coming in unexpectedly.”
Meanwhile, Helford said that it was truly a magical moment to be able to visit the game show’s iconic studio. The Conners co-creator also said that the two shows share very similar pandemic protocols.
“Being on the stage of ‘Jeopardy’, we were limited with who could go over because their protocols are like our protocols during the pandemic — very, very stringent. But I did get to go over and be on the ‘Jeopardy’ stage. And that is like being in the Church of Television. It’s such an iconic place, and it’s bigger than you expect. It’s really, really impressive.”
“That was a moment I won’t forget, and I’ve been in the business a long time,” Helford admitted. “And Laurie just was wonderful, Aaron did a great job, and it was just really, really fun.”