Speaking on the "Inside Jeopardy!" podcast, executive producer Michael Davies discussed his role with the game show and some of the changes he's made since taking on the position following the departure of Mike Richards earlier this year.
Davies explained that the first change he made was the direction in which host Mayim Bialik looks when thanking the show's announcer, Johnny Gilbert.
Originally Bialik looked towards the audience to thank Gilbert before turning to the camera and introducing the show. However, since Gilbert records his announcements via a home studio and is not actually on set, Davies decided to have Bialik look directly to the camera instead.
"I think on a show about fact, it wasn't right that we were looking over to an imaginary Johnny," said Davies, adding, "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."
"Obviously we want to definitely acknowledge Johnny, but you felt it wasn't authentic, that we were pretending he was in the audience," added associate director Sarah Whitcomb-Foss.
Gilbert has served as the Jeopardy! announcer since 1984. In 2017, he earned a Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a game show announcer for a single show.
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Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.