‘Jeopardy!’ Has Already Made A Change To Mayim Bialik’s Opening

Mayim Bialik attends the 2022 Fox Upfront on May 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/WireImage)

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Jeopardy! host Miyam Bialik isn’t beginning the show in the form of a question, but she is looking in a whole new direction.

That’s because executive producer Michael Davies decided to change up where Bialik looks in the opening monologue. Instead of looking into the audience when thanking set-up man Johnny Gilbert, Bialik now thanks Gilbert while looking directly into the camera.

Gilbert, 94, isn’t actually in the studio. He’s at home.

“One of the things I noticed first of all, though, in watching it was one of the first changes I made when I came in. Mayim would walk out, and she would look over toward Johnny Gilbert and say, ‘Thank you, Johnny,’ and then turn to the camera and deliver the open,” Davies said on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast. “Now, Johnny — I don’t know if this is a big reveal to the audience — Johnny isn’t there in the audience. For anybody coming to watch us tape Jeopardy! right now… Johnny isn’t there in the studio.

“I think on a show about fact, it wasn’t right that we were looking over to an imaginary Johnny,” Davies added. “Instead, you know, we thank him, because we should thank him in the beginning of the episode, but we thank him right down the camera, right down the lens because we know he watches every single episode.”

How does it all happen?

During tapings, associate producer Sarah Foss records Gilbert’s voice.

“He’s got his studio day in his home, it’s all set up, we call him up and he reads all of the opens for the show, correctly and beautifully announcing each of the contestants’ names, and that is actually what goes into the show,” Foss said.

As for Biayak, her early run as host has received mixed reviews from the viewing public and critics, but that’s just the way it goes when you’re replacing a legend. Rest in peace, Alex Trebek.

A change of where she looks to kick things off may be a start to something more, well, authentic.

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