Jeopardy!: Ken Jennings Returning for Season 37 in New Role

Jeopardy! has become one of the pillars of American game shows, turning some of its prolific champions into household names. Ken Jennings is certainly no exception, as he now holds the record for being the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time, with over $5 million in earnings from Jeopardy! and other shows. With Jeopardy! heading into its 37th season later this fall, it looks like Jennings will be playing a part in that -- but not one fans might have expected. According to USA Today, Jennings is set to serve as a consulting producer on the new season.

Jennings' role will be to "present his own special video categories, develop projects, assist with contestant outreach, and serve as a general ambassador for the show." His first video category on the show will air on September 15th.

Jennings' involvement is just the latest of new changes that Jeopardy! will have in its new season, as the show has already been filming without a studio audience.

"On a personal level, I’m excited because it gets me out of the house," longtime host Alex Trebek said in an announcement of the new season from Sony Pictures Television. "It gives me something to do on a regular basis, and I was missing that.”

The new season will also feature more social distancing between the contestants, and a virtual process for auditions.

Jennings' new role just months after he won the show's Greatest of All Time tournament, which placed him against fellow fan-favorites Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. Jennings ultimately won the whole tournament, something that he was not anticipating.

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"I actually told Jeopardy! I did not want to do it. They were very persistent. They did not want the empty podium," Jennings previously told USA Today. "I was 15 years on (from a 74-game win streak on the syndicated quiz show in 2004); I can kind of feel that I'm not longer as sharp as I used to be. And clearly James is. I've seen him plenty on TV looking younger and better at Jeopardy! than me."

What do you think of Ken Jennings returning to Jeopardy in an unexpected way? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!