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‘Jeopardy!’ returns with Alex Trebek and a new COVID-related intro

Jeopardy/Twitter.
Jeopardy/Twitter.

Alex Trebek is back in the studio.

The new season of Jeopardy! premieres Monday night. The show released a preview of Trebek’s usual intro, welcoming everyone back to the studio — but with a few key changes.

RELATED: Alex Trebek Will Return To ‘Jeopardy!’ Sept. 14 With New Producer Ken Jennings

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First, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show has separated the contestants’ lecterns “to provide a little extra social distancing between the players.”

Trebek added, “We have done the same thing for our staff and crew. We’re trying to provide as safe an environment as possible as we produce these new programs for your enjoyment.”

The host also added that returning champion Zach Newkirk will not, in fact, be back for a few weeks as he was unable to travel to play. Trebek confirmed he will be returning eventually.

In another big change to the show for its 37th season, record-setting champion Ken Jennings will serve as a consulting producer.

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RELATED: Alex Trebek Says Betty White Should Be His ‘Jeopardy!’ Replacement

Speaking to Good Morning America, Jennings said, “I kind of feel like I have a unique perspective on Jeopardy!. I’ve been a fan of the show for over 35 years now, it’s a huge part of my life growing up. And then for the last 15 years, seeing the show as a contestant.”

Jennings explained that he will be working on the show in a number of capacities, helping to present video categories, working with the writers on clues, and helping with contestant outreach as casting goes virtual.

Talking about the COVID-19 precautions on-set, Jennings said that Trebek will be staying at his host podium in order to keep distance from contestants.

“Alex’s health is priority No. 1 on that set,” he said.

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