One week after Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune announced they would begin taping without a studio audience over coronavirus concerns, the two game shows are following other shows in suspending production. "With the increasing concern surrounding COVID-19, we have decided to temporarily suspend production on Jeopardy! and @WheelofFortune," the Jeopardy! Twitter account tweeted Monday afternoon. "The health and well-being of our contestants, staff, and crew are our top priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops." As Ryan Nagelhout points out, postponing tapings makes sense because of the ages of hosts Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak's and their recent illnesses. Also, Jeopardy!'s podiums don't adhere to CDC requirements. "This makes sense in a lot of ways, starting with the fact that Alex Trebek is a 79-year-old currently battling Stage IV pancreatic cancer. Keeping the show’s legendary host healthy means social distancing, which is incredibly difficult to do when working on a television show," says Nagelhout. "Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is also 73 and recently underwent surgery, so being proactive is a best case for everyone involved. Speaking practically, the podiums for players are also closer together than the CDC would recommend as far as social distancing rules are concerned, which would put even younger, healthier people at risk for exposure. Not to mention the crew members who are still working both shows, whether they have studio audiences or not. Shutting everything down is what’s been seen as the most reasonable measure for most of the entertainment industry and businesses across the world. but when game shows are hit you know just how serious it all is."
TOPICS: Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Coronavirus, Game Shows