Watch special documentary about 'Jeopardy' and Alex Trebek tonight

Alex Trebek
Posted at 10:02 AM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 10:06:55-05

(WXYZ) — With three of Jeopardy's greatest champions facing off next week, a special show airing on Thursday night will take a look at how the show became one of the most popular on television.

"What is Jeopardy? Alex Trebek and America's Most Popular Game Show" will air Thursday, Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. on ABC Action News.

Ahead of the show, the 79-year-old host who is battling stage-4 pancreatic cancer spoke to ABC News.

RELATED: Alex Trebek discusses the latest in his cancer battle

"I have learned something in the past year and it's this: We don't know when we're going to die," he told the network. "Because of the cancer diagnosis, it's no longer an open-ended life ... Because of that, and something else that is operating here, people all over America and abroad have decided they want to let me know now, while I'm alive, about the impact that I've been having on their existence."

Trebek also told the network that while he hasn't determined when he'll leave the show, he did say he's practiced his final goodbye.

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"It'll be a significant moment for me. But I've kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, 'Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That's all I want,'" he said. "And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, 'Don't ask me who's going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I'm sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me... then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.'"

Beginning Jan. 7, Trebek will host a special "Greatest of All Time" tournament right here on ABC Action News. It will feature Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer.