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'Jeopardy!' honors late host Alex Trebek with studio dedication

"Jeopardy" is kicking off its 38th season this week and now-former executive producer Mike Richards will still be appearing as host. Here's why.

A big reason to watch the new episodes of "Jeopardy!" this week is to see returning champ Matt Amodio. He ended last season in style by winning 18 consecutive games and collecting $574,801 — a total that makes him third in all-time, regular-season winnings, the Associated Press reported

He'll also be one of the first three contestants to compete on the newly renamed Alex Trebek Stage at Sony Pictures Studios. During the first day of taping for season 38, a dedication ceremony was held with Alex’s wife, Jean, and the couple's three children Matthew, Emily and Nicky all in attendance. 

As the new season of "Jeopardy!" kicked off Monday, some viewers may tune in and wonder why they are seeing Mike Richards host the show after he stepped down from the role. 

Richards, who was initially announced as the permanent successor to the late Alex Trebek, quit amid an uproar over past comments he made. He was later dropped as the show's executive producer. 

But Richards' exit as host came after they had already completed a day of taping. "Jeopardy!" typically tapes a full week's worth of episodes in one day, so even though he no longer works on the long-running quiz show, Richards will be kicking off the new season.  

While it is not yet known who will be taking over as host permanently, Sony Pictures Television has said that actress Mayim Bialik will return to the podium for three weeks of episodes. When Richards was initially named the show's permanent host, it was announced that Bialik would emcee “Jeopardy!” prime-time and spinoff series, including a new college championship. 

Some of the guest hosts from the past season included "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings, LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, and several others.