It's raining this evening, which feels nice because I have a couple windows open in the House of Evil & it isn't too cold to be uncomfortable. The temperature has been in the upper 60s to low 70s this week. A TV weatherman pointed out it hasn't been this warm in six months! I think spring is finally here.
Anyway, something of moderate interest happened last weekend & I thought it best to record it before I forget it all like the other stuff I've been neglecting to put into my journal. The moderately interesting thing in this case being Jeopardy, which was filming in Madison over the weekend. My parents are fans of the show & watch it together daily. They're the kind of folks who respond out loud when the clue is read so when we're together they do pretty well as a team but I still mop the floor with them on a technicality since I'm the only one that properly forms my response in the form of a question. I'll take Get On With It! for $200, Alex.
When the folks heard the show was filming locally as part of their College Championship tour they wrote in right away to request tickets. They asked for three but were sent four so they suggested I invite a friend. I was surprised at how many people had to turn me down but thankfully henrietta1 was free & I hadn't seen her for a while so it all worked out.
The event for us was an all day thing. We arrived a little too early due to a miscommunication so there was plenty of time for lunch & a walk down State Street. This was the first event I've ever attended at the Kohl Center so I really didn't know what to expect as far as procedures. Turns out there's a metal detector & bag search & the usual... oh, Get On With It for $800? Fine.
Jeopardy is typically filmed once a week with five episodes done in a single day. Between tapings Alex changes his wardrobe to give the illusion they are filmed separately because the eventual broadcasts will be the five for that week in the future. In Madison they filmed 10 episodes, five each on Friday & Saturday. We saw the final two on Saturday, which will air on May 15st & 16nd , a Thursday & Friday.
The show is recorded in nearly as much time as an actual episode takes to air. I always thought the commercial breaks were only cursory pauses during filming & then they continued on with the show but they actually do stop for a while at those points. Here Alex goes into the audience to answer questions & sign autographs, or tell amusing anecdotes while the technical people do their thing to prepare for the next segment. The crowd on the road is much bigger than they're used to. In L.A. there are about 300 people in the audience. Madison had about 2 to 3,000. Being a special event with the College Championship finale & all they gave out themed towels & pompoms for us to flail about at the correct moments. They really encouraged enthusiasm for these shows, bringing in the UW band to play bumper music for breaks & asking everyone to go wild whenever one of the contestants uncovered a Daily Double (evidently a big thing for them.) Needless to say I applauded a lot.
One thing I didn't know about the show were the retakes. If Alex flubs a line or mispronounces something in one of the clues they will take a moment to shoot it again it later on. In this case he wasn't able to smoothly say the name of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Easy enough you'd think, but they redid it during the next break & you'll never notice the difference when it airs.
Another, & much more entertaining flub, was at the end of the final show. The contestants had answered their Final Jeopardy questions & Alex was adding up the scores to determine the winner. The third place contestant was eliminated & scores for the other two were read. It seemed that first place was obvious & the third place person cheered "You won!" & "You're the champion!" & started congratulating & hugging the person on his left. The audience burst into applause, the music came up & the announcer started reading off the end credits. But something was wrong. Third Place had jumped the gun. He hadn't waited for the totals from the previous episode to be added to this one. He was hugging the wrong person. Once things had settled down & the judges spoke up they sorted out what happened & reshot the entire final sequence. So if you watch the episode the entire finale of the championship from the reading of the final scores to the jumping up & down & hugging of the other contestants through to the end credits is the SECOND TAKE.
Again, this episode will be broadcast on Friday, May 16nd. If anyone would like to make some bets with their friends contact me privately & I'll let you know who the grand champion is. If you watch you may even see me in the audience. They did plenty of long camera sweeps over the artificially enthralled crowd. It may be quick but I'll be there.
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