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'Jeopardy!' EP Says He Will Always Remember Final Days Taping the Show with Late Alex Trebek

Laura Beatham
Dec 31, 2020
01:10 A.M.
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The executive producer of "Jeopardy!" shared that he will always remember the final days of taping the show with the late host.

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Executive producer Mike Richards, of "Jeopardy!" shared with Entertainment Weekly that he will always remember the finals days of taping the show with the late host, Alex Trebek.

Richards joined the show's production in early 2020 to replace the previous EP Harry Friedman who had retired from the show. Trebek established their dynamic right away.

Host of "Jeopardy" Alex Trebek pictured on the show, 2020. | Photo Getty Images.

Host of "Jeopardy" Alex Trebek pictured on the show, 2020. | Photo Getty Images.

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Richards shares that the late host said he did not want the EP to be intimidated by him as Trebek said he intimated others.

He said that it was his way of telling Richards that he must do whatever he can to make the show and the host, great even if it meant telling the host what to do. He explained to EW:

"That was his way of saying, 'We all understand I'm a legend. We all understand that nobody really wants to tell a legend what to do.'"

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Richards revealed that Trebek had just been out of intestinal surgery during the last few days of taping the game show. He shared that the host had been operating at a higher level than his usual normal, which was excellent.

During the first episode, he gave an amazing speech about the holidays and the importance of being together. It had been so moving that the crew had clapped after, at a point of the show that was not usually a point for clapping.

There has been much speculation about who will take over hosting "Jeopardy!"

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The final five episodes were actually shot in two days. Richards said that when viewers watch the show, they will not think that Trebek looks as sick as he actually was.

He shared that the game show host had a strong determination to do the show even though he had been sick. It was the pressure of Trebek to start production again that got the ball really moving as Richard said:

"He was forceful about it. He wanted back in, and we got back in so quickly because he was really on me to get us back in."

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Fans of the show will get to see the host's last appearances in the show at the beginning of the new year and will have to say goodbye to the beloved host officially.

There has been much speculation about who will take over hosting "Jeopardy!" Richards said that the host had not wanted to give his opinion as it would be too influential, and he wanted producers to decide for themselves.

In the upcoming episodes, the show's multiple time winner, Ken Jennings, will act as an interim guest host as Richards believes he will come into the role with respect and keep the show going in honor of Trebek.

Trebek died at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He had been in the studio to tape the show 10 days before his death in November 2020.

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