Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

I'm amusing precisely myself.

The Field of Play

Jeopardy! is filmed on Stage 10 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. Here on Google Maps you can see it as the building just northwest of the basketball court:

View Larger Map

The adjacent studio to the southwest, Stage 11, is the home of Wheel of Fortune. Each morning the shuttle from the hotel drops contestants at the breezeway between the two stages where they are met by one of the show's contestant coordinators. They are then escorted through a small security checkpoint between the buildings to the northwest corner of Stage 10, then along the building's north wall to the northeast corner where the public entrance is located, shown on the diagram below as the exit in the lower left hand corner:


From there all the contestants are whisked into the green room, which is just above the stage entrance on the diagram. Here they spend the next ninety minutes or so filling out paperwork, going over all the rules of the game, enjoying some snacks and drinks, and having their stage makeup done in one of the two small rooms located to the right of the restrooms in the upper part of the area. Here's a picture of the green room taken during filming of the Tournament of Champions airing in November. That door with a star on it is labeled “Jeopardy Champion:” it's where the winner of each game ducks to change their outfit before the next game begins.

Once this briefing is done, the players are shown to the studio through the corridor located below the lower set of audience bleachers on the diagram. Now I've heard many people say that when they visit a television studio, particularly for a show they really like and watch often, they're surprised at how small the stage really is. Everything looks bigger at home. I will be the first to say: the set for Jeopardy! is huge - it's big and gorgeous and really looks so much better in person than it does on the screen. There's a wonderful feeling of depth and dimension that doesn't translate on camera, and for someone who's a self-admitted fanboy of the show, it's overwhelming. I started laughing immediately on rounding that corner and seeing it for the first time, just totally overjoyed.

I've penciled in on the diagram a rough layout of the stage area. Here's what you'll find inside Stage 10:

  1. The contestant coordinators' table, where the wranglers sit during rehearsal and recording. There's a monitor here that shows each of the players and the status of their signalling buttons, and in particular when someone comes in too early and is locked out. This is also where contestants fill out their prize paperwork once their game is finished. It's shown in the background of this college tournament photo.
  2. A large flat screen monitor, mounted about six feet off the floor and facing the audience. This is where the contestants sitting in the audience waiting for their turn to go onstage can see the game as it will appear on television. It's shown in the upper right of this picture.
  3. A camera on a jib that's used for sweeping shots of the stage. This is the one that gives the very first shot of the show before the contestants are introduced, the shot of Alex entering the stage, and the zoom in on the board as the first round begins.
  4. The production table. The executive producer, judge, and the technician that enables the signalling buttons for each question sit here. The show's announcer, Johnny Gilbert, has his podium at the upper end of this table, facing down its length.
  5. A second flat screen monitor, about the same size as the one mentioned above, that sits on the stage facing the contestants. When picture or video clues are used in the game, they're displayed here for the players to see.
  6. The two cameras that are used to film the contestants. During the introductions, the camera to the players' right shoots the newcomer on the end and then the returning champion, while the one on the left gets the player in the middle. Both the second monitor mentioned above as well as the right hand camera are on the left side of this picture.
  7. The contestants' scoreboard: three digital displays mounted above the camera at about the same height as the top of the game board (see them in the upper left corner of this photo). If you've ever noticed players gazing up toward the ceiling, especially when they're trying to figure out what to bet on a Daily Double, this is what they're looking at. At one point I thought I heard the floor manager refer to these as “slave boards.”
  8. The game board, in all its glory. When the contestants pick a clue, it displays on the screen for them to read. Despite the distance between the podiums and the board, I found it wasn't any trouble to make out the text of the clues.
  9. The glass doors through which Alex enters at the beginning of the game; or, as one of the contestants at my taping dubbed them, The Gates of Trebek.
  10. Alex's podium. For many reasons, we're not allowed anywhere near here.
  11. The column sculpture with the monitor that displays the reveal of the Final Jeopardy category at the end of the second round.
  12. The three contestants' podiums.
  13. The sculpture that hangs behind the players. This, in particular, is one of the things that doesn't show up well on camera with regard to dimension. While on TV it looks like a single solid two-dimensional object, in reality it's a series of sculptures hanging side by side about three feet in depth. Moreover, it really is located a good ten to fifteen feet behind the podiums; that's not exaggerated on the diagram at all.
  14. One more monitor, mounted behind the contestants and facing Alex. It actually took me some time to spot this one, and I wonder what it shows during a taping. You can see it in the background of this photo.

Page information

jeopardy/studio.txt · Last modified: November 6, 2011 by Dave Leach

User actions

Original design by Free CSS Templates, adapted by Dave Leach. About this site