Jeopardy! announced that Alex Trebek’s final episode as the game show’s host will air on Christmas.
Trebek died on Sunday at the age of 80 following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
In March 2019, Trebek announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He immediately started treatment, but made no plans to retire. In fact, he kept hosting and taping new episodes.
Trebek taped his final episode of Jeopardy on October 29. Jeopardy generally tapes a single week of episodes on one day.
The game show stopped filming new episodes in March during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. When new episodes resumed filming during the summer, and given Trebek’s health status, some minor changes were made in the studio. Contestants were separated by several feet, and Trebek stopped shaking the hands of contestants.
As for the future of Jeopardy after Trebek, that remains in question. Trebek was Jeopardy’s second host after Art Flemming hosted the original version of Jeopardy.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Trebek took Jeopardy to primetime in January, inviting back three of the game show’s most successful players for a “Greatest of All Time” series. The series ended after four nights when Ken Jennings, who once rattled off 74 wins in a row, defeated James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter to claim the title.
Jennings has since been hired by the show to serve as a producer and ambassador, leading to speculation that he would be next in line to replace Trebek.