Alex Trebek's colleagues honor his legacy during final week of 'Jeopardy!' shows

Executive producers of "Jeopardy" reflect on Alex Trebek's legacy and look to the future of the popular game show.
HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- We are remembering Alex Trebek with the help of two important men in his life: the current and the former executive producers of "Jeopardy!"

Both know what Alex brought to television. One remembers a dear friend; one looks to keep a legacy alive, moving forward.

"His legacy, among other things, is "Jeopardy!" and the fact that he made being smart cool," said Mike Richards, executive producer.

Harry Friedman ran "Jeopardy!" for 23 years.

"And sometimes, even between rounds, between the 'Jeopardy!' rounds and the 'Double Jeopardy!' round, you could see him reviewing the material, double-checking to make sure he had his pronunciations and his diacritical marks and all of that. It was a work ethic that was to be admired," said Friedman.

Richards feels he's now the steward of what the show has built over the decades. And even when Ken Jennings begins guest-hosting the show next week, Alex will still be there.

"His DNA is so in the show that you still feel him there. Whether it's his image in the open or us referencing throughout the course of the episodes, we're not forgetting him," said Richards. "We're embracing him and his greatness. And he's here. I believe he's everywhere in that building."

Friedman remembers when Alex took the stage in another building: New York's Radio City Music Hall.

"Just the roar of 6,000 people in the audience and you could see how moved he was that this was, 'Oh my God, you know, I'm playing Radio City Music Hall," remembered Friedman. "Okay, we've got a game to play. Let's get going."

The game will continue on... initially with guest hosts.

"We've reached out to a number of people and what's really gratifying is a number of people have reached out to us saying, 'I'm really interested in this," said Richards. "And, again, that's kind of a testament to how important and great Alex was that these people are going, 'I would like to take a shot at this."

So far, they've filmed new shows with former champ Ken Jennings at the helm. Those episodes begin on Monday.
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