It is hard to imagine “Jeopardy!” without Alex Trebek. After all, the popular game show host, who died at the age of 80 last week after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer, was at the podium for 36 years. He even continued to host the show during his courageous battle and inspired millions of fans around the world.
Fortunately, fans of Trebek will still be able to watch the iconic host in new “Jeopardy!” episodes right up until the final week of this year. Trebek continued filming episodes of “Jeopardy!” through Oct. 29, just 10 days before his death.
Because of the show’s filming schedule, “Jeopardy!” episodes featuring Trebek will continue to air through Christmas Day, according to the show’s producers.
In a special message shown at the start of the first episode to air following Trebek’s death, Mike Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy,” talked about the loss of the show’s longtime host.
“Over the weekend, we lost our beloved host, Alex Trebek,” Richards said. “This is an enormous loss for our staff and crew, for his family and for his millions of fans. He loved this show and everything it stood for … He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family.”
Richards also talked about how the show would start to move forward following its heartbreaking loss.
“We will air his final 35 episodes as they were shot,” he shared. “That’s what he wanted.” You can watch Richards’ emotional message in the YouTube video below.
The official “Jeopardy!” website confirmed that the final 35 episodes will run through Dec. 25, 2020. Sony Pictures, the production company behind the game show, has not made any statements regarding a possible replacement and the future of the show following Trebek’s final episode.
While we’re not exactly sure how Trebek will sign off on that last episode, we may have received a preview from the man himself. Before his death, he talked about the inevitability of that last farewell and what he might say on his final show.
“I will say my goodbyes, and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever,'” he told Michael Strahan of “Good Morning America” back in January. “But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”