Danger! it seems to be finally coming to some consistency after a couple of years of upheaval. Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik were appointed permanent co-hosts of the game show after the death of Alex Trebek in 2020, and Michael Davis became executive producer after Mike Richards was fired. It was a huge adjustment for both staff and viewers as the Emmy-winning game show finds its footing. And recently, Davis explained one of the very first changes he asked Bialik to make as a host, after he felt that the show was not true.
About the inner danger! (opens in new tab) podcast, executive producer Michael Davis talked about one of the first changes he made when he took over, and it was due to the way host Mayim Bialik thanked longtime announcer Johnny Gilbert during the presentation of the show. Davis said:
One of the things I noticed in the first place was that it was one of the first changes I made when I came in. Mayim would leave, look at Johnny Gilbert and say, ‘Thank you, Johnny,’ and then turn to the camera and make a discovery. Now, Johnny — I do not know if this is a big discovery for the public — Johnny is not in the audience. To everyone who comes to watch our Jeopardy entry! right now… Johnny’s not in the studio.
Then executive producer and producer Sarah Foss told how Johnny Gilbert records the intro of the participants from his home studio, and his part is edited into the show that we see at home. Foss agreed with Michael Davis’ call to stop pretending that the announcer is in the audience, as she said that the EP “felt that this was not true.” Davis continued:
Yes, I think it was wrong in the fact series that we were looking at an imaginary Johnny, and instead we thank him — because we should thank him at the beginning of the episode — but we thank him right down the camera, right into the lens, because we know he watches every episode. And so we thank him, but we look directly into the camera.
It’s such a small note to ask Mayim Bialik to look into the camera and not into the auditorium when she thanks Johnny Gilbert—but Michael Davis’ commitment to authenticity seems to indicate that he understands the reverence that fans have for a long—running game show.
The Big Bang Theory graduate spoke about the feedback she has received since she started hosting her concert, including a “great comment” from the producers regarding her tone. Other comments, however, were not so great, as Mayim Bialik eventually apologized for using the phrase “Single Jeopardy!” to describe the first round of hints, and not just “Danger! round”, and also stated that Alex Trebek has never had to hear fan reviews about her clothes like her.
However, criticism is good when it is constructive, and any comments made in order to create danger! a more authentic experience will undoubtedly be appreciated by both the team and the fans. While viewers are waiting for the return of the cult quiz of the 39th season, there is also a new spin-off Celebrity Jeopardy! we hit the road in September, as well as the Tournament of Champions and the “Second Chance” competition. Keep up to date with all these and other premieres with our TV program for 2022.