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'Wheel of Fortune,' 'Jeopardy!' to record new shows with updated sets

With an eye on the coronavirus pandemic, the two game shows will return to action with new episodes and redesigned sets for social distancing.

"Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" are set to resume production with a redesign of its sets and other safety measures reflective of what is happening nationwide to fight the coronavirus pandemic

A studio spokesperson confirmed the shows are returning to the studio to tape episodes for the upcoming seasons with some new protocols in place. 

As part of the changes, the "Jeopardy!" stage has been redesigned to allow more space between the contestants. They'll also be kept a safe distance away from host Alex Trebek, who turned 80 last week amid his battle with pancreatic cancer.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness including pneumonia and death.

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The "Wheel of Fortune" set will include changes to the wheel, allowing more space between contestants. Hosts Pat Sajak, 73, and Vanna White, 63, will also be back.

All staff, crew and contestants for both game shows will be tested beforehand, only essential crew will be allowed on stage, everyone behind the scenes will receive personal protective equipment and social distancing will be enforced all around the productions. 

"While some things may have changed behind the scenes and on the set to keep everyone safe, fans can expect to see the same 'Wheel of Fortune' and 'Jeopardy!' they have come to love when the season starts," a Sony Pictures Television spokesperson said. 

The shows went on hiatus March 16 due to the pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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