‘Jeopardy’ begins new season with Ken Jennings joining show

This image released by "Jeopardy!" shows Ken Jennings, a 74-time champion the the set of the popular quiz show. Jennings will serve as a consulting producer on season 37, which premieres Sept. 14 on Local 10. (Uncredited)

“Jeopardy!” begins its 37th season Sept. 14 on Local 10, and there will be a familiar face in a new role.

Ken Jennings, the 74-time champ and winner of this year’s “Greatest of All Time” special, has been added as a consulting producer.

“In his new role, Ken will present his own special video categories, develop projects, assist with contestant outreach, and serve as a general ambassador for the show,” a news release said. His first video category will be on the second episode of the season, Sept. 15.

Might that mean that Jennings is being groomed as host Alex Trebek’s successor?

Trebek, who has said he’s responding well to treatment for pancreatic cancer, is excited for the new season.

“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. 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.”

Showrunners say that the set has been updated to allow more social distance between the three contestants and between them and Trebek.

The show is also now using Zoom for its casting. More information on the audition process can be found at jeopardy.com/be-on-j-faqs.

Jennings, 46, became a household name during his record-breaking win streak as a contestant in 2004, and he defeated James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter in a primetime special that aired early this year to decide the show’s greatest player of all time.

“Though I’ve played my last round of ’Jeopardy!’ as a contestant, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to remain involved with my favorite show,” Jennings said in a statement. “I’m still in on all the action, but I don’t have to worry about phrasing things in the form of a question anymore.”

‘Jeopardy!’ airs new episodes weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on Local 10.