What is an `in joke,' Alex?


Syndicated quiz show Jeopardy!, known for its clever categories, got
majorly self-referential in a recent show.

Four categories sharing the board April 21 were "King World, Sony, Colombia
Pictures and Try `Star.'"

King World Productions, of course, is the show's longtime distributor and
Sony Pictures Television the show's owner, while Columbia Pictures and TriStar
are the former names of the show's producer (since changed to Sony Pictures

The categories actually dealt with, respectively: various monarchs, although
not TV royals Roger and Michael King; facts about Sony Corp., including founder
Akio Morita and the introduction of videotape; pictures of people from Colombia
(the country's liberator, Simon Bolivar, for example); and star-related answers
(star-struck, starfish).

On the subject of Juan Valdez, that was not a plug, Jeopardy! producer
Harry Friedman said, although he added that the show has been approached about
product placement. "We don't want to blur the line," he said firmly.

Jeopardy! does do cross-promotion, however, where it will tap into, say,
Animal Planet's library and resources for answers in exchange for giving the
cable network a mention on the show.