Fans of Jeopardy! definitely noticed something unusual when they sat down to watch the episode on Monday, Dec. 21 — a young, fresh-faced Ken Jennings appeared behind one of the contestant podiums and was announced as a 56-day champion. No, you didn't suddenly travel back in time (and Ken didn't find the Fountain of Youth and start another winning streak). Jeopardy! is airing reruns from Dec. 21, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021.
There's a pretty straightforward answer for the reruns that, given the year we've been having, probably won't surprise you in the least. Here's what you need to know, plus what you can look forward to seeing over the next couple of weeks.
Why is ‘Jeopardy!’ airing reruns right now?
Obviously, we’re still dealing with a global pandemic, and the production calendars of many television shows and films have been thrown into disarray. Back in March, Sony announced that it would be suspending the production of new episodes due to rising concerns related to the pandemic. “We take the well-being of our staff, crew, contestants, audience guests and host very seriously, and will not resume taping until it is completely safe,” the press release said.
Jeopardy! did eventually start filming new episodes in September, and up until very recently, Jeopardy! had still been airing those new episodes. That’s because the show records several episodes at a time. Typically, the show shoots two days per week, but each shooting day covers five episodes. That means that for every week of shooting, two weeks of the show is produced.
However, production was once again thrown for a loop after the death of beloved host Alex Trebek. Alex filmed new episodes through Oct. 29 and passed away slightly more than a week later, on Nov. 8. We still have not seen Alex's final episodes. Initially, the plan was for Alex's last episode to air on Christmas Day, but the schedule has shifted and his final episodes will now be shown from Monday, Jan. 4 to Friday, Jan. 8, 2021.
‘Jeopardy!’ is airing two weeks of Alex's favorite "Around the World" episodes.
From Monday, Dec. 21 through Jan. 1, 2021, Jeopardy! fans will be able to watch some of Alex's favorite "Around the World" episodes. " According to the show's website, "Alex had a lifelong interest in the world’s people, cultures, and languages, and he was the driving force in many of the categories we’re sharing in the next two weeks. 'History is the past,' he once said. 'Geography is the future.'"
Here's a look at the schedule for the next couple of weeks:
Week 1: Dec. 21-25
Monday, Dec. 21 — "Hockey" (Original Airdate: 10/14/04)
Tuesday, Dec. 22 — "Sesame Street" (Original Airdate: 04/4/06)
Wednesday, Dec. 23 — "The U.S. Air Force: USO Tour to Japan" (Original Airdate: 09/27/07)
Thursday, Dec. 24 — "Machu Picchu" (Original Airdate: 11/6/07)
Friday, Dec. 25 — "Niagara Falls" (Original Airdate: 01/15/09)
Week 2: Dec. 28 - Jan. 1
Monday, Dec. 28 — "Journey Through Israel" (Original Airdate: 11/23/09)
Tuesday, Dec. 29 — "Galápagos Wildlife" (Original Airdate: 12/9/09)
Wednesday, Dec. 30 — "Operatic Costumes: The Met" (Original Airdate: 11/9/11)
Thursday, Dec. 31— "Petra" (Original Airdate: 11/14/11)
Friday, Jan. 1 — "National Museum of African American History and Culture" (Original Airdate: 2/6/17)
These episodes will definitely be a great source of entertainment over the holidays. The rerun schedule also gives us time to mentally and emotionally prepare for Alex's final episodes that are airing after the new year.