The Loop

Jeopardy! becomes first major US sports league to ban live audiences in order to protect Alex Trebek

ABC's "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time"

Eric McCandless

The Declaration of Independence, Babe Ruth's Cooperstown bust, that mini Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. That's it. That's the list of national treasures more sacred than Alex Trebrek, who, if you want to get bogged down in technicalities, is actually Canadian. Those pieces of iconography (not to mention the mountain with the presidents' faces on it and your plastic souvenir beer cup from Augusta National) must be protected at all costs, and thankfully the good folks at Sony Pictures Television are doing exactly that for Sir Alex Trebek, becoming the first major domestic sports league to ban live audiences. A source close to Jeopardy! told the Washington Post on Monday...

“Out of an abundance of caution due to the spread of Covid-19, we have decided to cancel audience attendance for the tapings of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ for the time being,” a person close to “Jeopardy!”

The move beats the NHL, NBA, and NCAA to the punch, all of whom are currently weighing decisions about whether to press on without fans or press pause on their seasons altogether. This is good news for fans of Trebek (AKA all sentient bipeds), who is particularly vulnerable to the virus after over a year of chemotherapy for his pancreatic cancer, which he is still battling. Even Ken Jennings—the official Greatest of All Time—chimed in to applaud the decision on Twitter.

Amen to that, Kenny. In other news, 'Wheel of Fortune' also announced to plans to forego live studio audiences in the near future. So if you're one of the seven sick SOBs on earth who likes 'Wheel' more than 'Jeopardy!', you can rest easy knowing that Pat—who had a very serious health scare of his own in November—Vana, and co. will also be protected from the world's latest, greatest crisis.