10:42am PT by Evan Real
'Jeopardy!'s' Top Winners to Compete in Alex Trebek-Hosted Primetime Special
ABC on Monday announced that the three highest money winners of Jeopardy! are set to compete in a consecutive night series hosted by Alex Trebek. The event series, titled Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time, will premiere on Jan. 7.
The returning winners of the long-running syndicated game show include Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. The trio will compete in a series of matches; the first to win three receives $1 million and Jeopardy!'s "Greatest of All Time" title.
"Based on their previous performances, these three are already the 'greatest,' but you can’t help wondering: who is the best of the best?" Trebek said in a statement.
Added Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, "I am always so blown away by the incredibly talented and legendary Alex Trebek, who has entertained, rallied and championed the masses for generations — and the world class Jeopardy! team who truly are 'the greatest of all time.' This timeless and extraordinary format is the gift that keeps on giving and winning the hearts of America every week. We can’t wait to deliver this epic and fiercely competitive showdown — with these unprecedented contestants — to ABC viewers and loyal fans everywhere."
"We’re excited to bring Jeopardy! to primetime! It’s been a long time in the making — we wanted to create a unique experience sure to wow not just our fans, but all audiences," Mike Hopkins, chairman of Sony Pictures Television, also said. "We are thrilled to have James, Brad and Ken, three powerhouse players each worthy of the title 'The Greatest of All Time.' With Alex hosting this is truly going to be something special. I can’t wait to see who comes out on top!"
The Greatest of All Time announcement comes months after Trebek revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Despite health struggles, the 79-year-old TV host returned to the show in August, after which he again had to return to chemotherapy when his "numbers went sky-high."
Trebek has said that chemotherapy has caused sores in his mouth, making it difficult to enunciate words, and created issues with his eyesight. Still, he plans to film Jeopardy! "as long as my skills do not diminish," he said in October.
Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time is produced by Sony Pictures Television, with Harry Friedman serving as executive producer.