TV Academy creates Alex Trebek Fund to benefit college media educators

(l-r: Alex Trebek, Judy Friedman, Harry Friedman)

The Television Academy Foundation announced the establishment of the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowship Fund with a $50,000 gift from longtime Jeopardy! executive producer Harry Friedman and the Harry & Judy Friedman Family Foundation.

Named in honor of the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, the fund will provide a select number of need-based fellowships, known as the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowships, to college educators attending the Foundation’s annual Faculty Conference as well as support overall conference programming. 

The Foundation’s annual, three-day Faculty Conference connects college classrooms with the television industry by providing media professors with curriculum-enhancing seminars on the latest in the art, science and business of television. 

Initially, the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowships will be awarded to 25 college and/or university educators from across the country who demonstrate financial need and wish to attend the three-day virtual Faculty Conference Nov. 15-17. 

This year’s conference will also include a panel discussion titled “The Art of the Game: Careers in Quiz and Game Shows,” featuring panelists Harry FriedmanJeopardy! co-head writer Michele Loud; Executive Vice President of Production at Warner Horizon Television Inc. Kevin Fortson; and moderated by Bob Boden, executive producer of syndicated game show Funny You Should Ask

REELated: Hollywood comes out swinging at 21st annual Emmys Golf Classic

When the conference returns to an in-person format, the fund will be used to provide additional support in the form of conference registration fees, travel and lodging costs, and other expenses incurred by fellowship recipients. 
“Judy and I are extremely grateful to the Television Academy Foundation for creating the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowships,” said Harry Friedman. “They will serve as a lasting tribute to our dear friend’s life and work. Much like Jeopardy! itself, the Foundation’s programs use the power of television to educate and to celebrate and reward knowledge.” 

Nineteen-time Emmy Award-winner Harry Friedman was executive producer of the two most lasting and successful syndicated game shows ever, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, from 1999 to 2020. In 2011, both shows tied in the Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Game Show category, and Friedman became the first producer ever to win two Emmys in the same category. Under Friedman’s direction, Jeopardy! received the prestigious Peabody Award in 2012. And in 2019 Friedman was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

“We are thrilled to launch the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowships in partnership with the Harry & Judy Friedman Family Foundation to provide equal access and financial support to educators in need nationwide,” said Cris Abrego, chair of the Television Academy Foundation. “This heartfelt tribute to television’s most iconic game show host is such a meaningful and purposeful gift.” 

The late Alex Trebek began hosting Jeopardy! in 1984, the year the syndicated version of America’s Favorite Quiz Show ® debuted. He became one of television’s most enduring and iconic figures, engaging millions of viewers worldwide with his impeccable delivery of “answers and questions.” Trebek hosted nearly 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy! over the past three decades, making him one of television’s most recognizable figures. On Nov. 8, 2020, he passed away at 80 years of age. 

To register for the 2021 Faculty Seminar and information on how to apply for the Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowship, click here