Is everyone jonesing for some new game show content? Well, your prayers have been answered because Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy will begin filming soon. Despite the fact that The Bold and The Beautiful shut down its filming almost as soon as they’d restarted, the game show brain trust thought bringing folks in to a covered studio to solve word puzzles was what our nation needs. Oh, and don’t forget poor Alex Trebek who is battling stage four pancreatic cancer, leaving him immunocompromised.
Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are set to resume production soon — with changes to their respective sets to promote social distancing due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are returning to the studio to tape episodes for the shows’ upcoming seasons,” a studio spokesperson tells PEOPLE. “The productions have protocols in place in accordance with current government guidelines to protect contestants, staff, crew, and talent from the spread of COVID-19.”
“While some things may have changed behind the scenes and on the set to keep everyone safe, fans can expect to see the same Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! they have come to love when the season starts,” the spokesperson adds.
Wheel of Fortune will feature a redesigned wheel to ensure that contestants are six feet apart, and the podiums in Jeopardy will be spaced out further than usual to keep a safe amount of space between contestants and host Alex Trebek.
Contestants will reportedly be tested for COVID-19 before coming into the studio, and staff and crew will be tested regularly. Additionally, everyone off-camera will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE).
In March, a source close to both game shows confirmed to PEOPLE that they would be filmed without a studio audience amid the pandemic — in part as a consideration for Trebek‘s health. Trebek is in an ongoing fight against stage 4 pancreatic cancer, making him more susceptible to the virus.
I know people want life to resume. And I understand revenue needs to be generated to keep our states and country open but the priorities of some of these folks baffle me. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy film in Culver City, which is Los Angeles adjacent. LA has the highest number of COVID cases and deaths in California, which has the highest number of cases in the country. Our numbers quadrupled in the month since reopening. I know the shows are taking extra precautions with spacing, but with Wheel, the point is for all contestants to spin the same wheel. Unless they disinfect that sucker after every single spin, it’s not the time for communal anything. Surely there is some virtual way to put this content out for now. I don’t want to take the food out of anyone’s mouth, but California was heralded for its COVID precautions and now were being crushed by the virus. This just doesn’t feel like a smart move. Not to mention the risk they’re asking of Alex. That might possibly be his call, though. He might feel helpless and just want to get back to work.
Speaking of Alex and his treatment. We discussed his comment that he would not pursue treatment if this latest procedure wasn’t working. Fortunately, he clarified that recently. What he meant was that he would not pursue his current treatment if it did not improve his condition, but he would return to chemotherapy in that case. He is not stopping all treatment, just those that are ineffective. Whew. Stay strong, Alex.
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