Alex Trebek’s final ‘Jeopardy!’ episodes will air this week and include a moving speech by late host

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

It’s a moment in television history that no one wanted to happen so soon. The final five episodes of “Jeopardy!” with Alex Trebek as the host will air this week.

The five-night run starts Jan. 4, and the final episode with Trebek will air on Jan. 8.

In a statement to The Wrap, the show said the week of episodes will start with “a powerful message about the season of giving” and conclude with a tribute to Trebek, who was beloved both as the show’s unflappable host and as a philanthropist who gave his time and money to causes he cared about around the world.

Originally, Trebek’s final episode was scheduled to air on Christmas Day. But the show announced in a statement that, “Due to anticipated preemptions around Christmas and New Year’s, Alex’s last week of episodes will now air the week of Jan. 4, 2021, in order to give his millions of fans a chance to see his final appearances.”

Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020, at the age of 80 following a long battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Despite his diagnosis and grueling treatments, the long-time host continued to take his place behind the podium until he filmed his last episode on Oct. 29, 2020.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

“Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards talked with CNN about Trebek’s last day of filming. The host recently had surgery and returned to the filming soon afterward, surprising the crew.

“We didn’t know it was going to be the last episode,” Richards told CNN. “He was in pain and we knew it.”

Richards added he had chills the entire tape day, especially when Trebek opened the taping with a moving speech.

“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 are all in tears. And, we all started clapping and it almost distracted him. He was going, ‘OK, now let’s play ‘Jeopardy!” He was at the top of his game, even though clearly he was very ill.”

If you want to catch this historic five-day run of the show, check your local listings so you don’t miss a single answer and question.

New episodes featuring guest host and recently crowned “Jeopardy Greatest of All Time” contestant Ken Jennings will begin airing on Jan. 11.

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Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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