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Alex Trebek's final appearance on Jeopardy! is sadly approaching. The beloved host of the long-running game show taped his last episode Oct. 29, just 10 days before his death on Nov. 8 from pancreatic cancer. New episodes with Trebek have continued to air in the weeks since, but that final entry will air in early January, marking the end of an era for the series Trebek hosted since its relaunch in 1984.
If you're planning on tuning in to see Trebek's final appearance, read on for the details of when the episode will air, what we might see during his last week, and more.
When will Trebek's final episode air?
Trebek's final week of Jeopardy! episodes will air beginning Monday, Jan. 4, with the last episode he filmed airing Friday, Jan. 8. His final episode was originally scheduled to air on Christmas Day, but was pushed back "due to anticipated preemptions around Christmas and New Year’s," according to a statement from the show. Instead, the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28 will be devoted to 10 of Trebek's best episodes as a special tribute.
What will we see on Trebek's final episodes?
It's unclear. Reportedly, no one knew at the time of filming that those episodes would be Trebek's last, but Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards told CNN that we can expect an emotional moment during one of them.
"That first show of that final week...he gives a speech talking about togetherness, how important family is, and it will resonate even more now," Richards said. "It was so beautiful that we were all emotional, we were all in tears, and we all started clapping. It almost distracted him because he was going, 'OK, now let’s play Jeopardy!'"
Richards also emphasized that Trebek was "at the top of his game" despite his battle with cancer. "As a professional, the fact that he kept pushing and that he recorded what would now be his final episodes less than two weeks ago, gives you an idea of just how much he believed in the show, how much he cared for it," Richards said at the time.
Who will take over as host?
A new permanent host for Jeopardy! has yet to be announced. However, the show announced that "a series of interim guest hosts from the Jeopardy! family" will step in for the time being, starting with 74-time winner and fan favorite Ken Jennings. The guest-hosted episodes will begin airing Jan. 11, 2021.
“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” Richards said in a statement. “We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”