Ken Jennings Opens Up About His New Jeopardy! Role: 'It's a Great Gig'
The recently crowned Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time winner and 74-time champion is joining the show as a consulting producer
Ken Jennings is excited about his new Jeopardy! role.
The recently crowned Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time winner and 74-time champion is joining the competition series as a consulting producer and opened up about the gig to Good Morning America.
"I feel like I have a unique perspective on Jeopardy! having been a fan of the show for over 35 years now," he shared. "It was a huge part of my life growing up and then for the last 15 years seeing the show as a contestant."
Jennings, 46, explained that his extensive Jeopardy! experience makes him a valuable asset to the show.
"I've played 100 games of Jeopardy! and I think that's more than anybody else on earth and I probably know as much or think as much about Jeopardy! as anybody in the world who is not on payroll, so I'm happy to be on the team."
As for what exactly he will be doing, Jennings told GMA: "You'll see me regularly on the show, presenting video categories and collaborating with the tries on clues."
Jennings said he will also be "working with the casting team on contestant outreach, finding the best trivia people where they hide."
"It's a great gig being a goodwill ambassador for a show that has so much goodwill," he added.
The hit televised game show series is returning for its 37th season on Monday. Jeopardy! resumed production amid the global health crisis earlier this summer, with new changes in place such as social distancing guidelines between host Alex Trebek, who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and the contestants, as well as Jennings.
When the show returns, viewers will notice a new and updated take on the show's set, with a revamped stage that now allows for more space between the three contestant podiums and Trebek's lectern. Additionally, production has protocols in place in accordance with current government guidelines to protect contestants, staff, crew, and talent from the spread of COVID-19.
"I feel good, and I feel excited because once again Jeopardy! has demonstrated that it’s at the forefront of television programming," Trebek, 80, said in a statement. "I believe we are the first quiz show to come back on the air in the COVID-19 era."
He added, "On a personal level, I’m excited because it gets me out of the house. It gives me something to do on a regular basis, and I was missing that."
Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards echoed Trebek's statements, saying, "I think the world needs something to be happy about. So when the greatest quiz show of all time starts airing new episodes, then they can take a deep breath and say 'Oh, it’s Jeopardy! It’s the same great show, and it’s even better.' "