'Jeopardy!': Alex Trebek's final episodes to begin airing Monday

Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek's final episodes of the show will begin airing Monday.

Jeopardy! confirmed Monday that Trebek's final five episodes will air this week following his death in November. His final episode will air Friday.


Trebek died Nov. 8 at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said in an interview with Today that Trebek gives an "amazing speech" during Monday's episode.

"He comes out and gives this -- I just got chills -- gives this absolutely amazing speech about the tough times that we're in and the importance of us as a country, as a community, humanity, coming together and being there for each other," Richards said.

Trebek filmed his final episodes amid his illness and treatment for cancer. Richards said Trebek was an "absolute warrior" as he shot the episodes without knowing they would be his last.

"What he was able to do by getting himself back to the set ... it was Herculean," he said. "He was in enormous pain. He was 10 days away from passing away. You will not sense any of that in these episodes. He's strong, he sounds great, he's funny, and he's amazing."

Ken Jennings, a former Jeopardy! contestant who holds the record for the longest winning streak on the show, will serve as the show's first interim host beginning Jan. 11. Jennings apologized last week for "insensitive" past tweets ahead of his debut as interim host.

"Hey, I just wanted to own up to the fact that over the years on Twitter, I've definitely tweeted some unartful and insensitive things. Sometimes they worked as jokes in my head and I was dismayed to see how they read on screen," Jennings tweeted.

"Sometimes I said dumb things in a dumb way and I want to apologize to people who were (rightfully!) offended. It wasn't my intention to hurt anyone, but that doesn't matter: I screwed up, and I'm truly sorry," he said.

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