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Current 'Jeopardy!' champ was busy promoting his new ABC comedy the day after he won

Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
·3 min read

In a hard-to-believe timing coincidence that likely would be cut from a TV script, the co-creator of upcoming ABC comedy "Home Economics" (April 7) managed to upstage his new series briefly Friday at a Television Critics Association panel.

How? Michael Colton, who created "Home Economics" with fellow executive producer John Aboud, won his first appearance on "Jeopardy!" Thursday, taking home $9,201. (He triumphed a second time Friday in unusual fashion, going into the Final Jeopardy round in third place and answering incorrectly. However, he won by $3 when his two rivals also missed after wagering larger sums. Colton, who returns next week, has two-night winnings of $17,603.)

Colton's first victory on the popular syndicated game show, which was taped weeks ago, came up late in a 25-minute Zoom panel about "Home Economics," which centers on three siblings (played by Topher Grace, Caitlin McGee and Jimmy Tatro) representing wildly different financial situations: top 1%, middle class and struggling to get by. The series is inspired by Colton's own family story.

Host lineup: 'Jeopardy!' exclusive: Who's new guest host Mike Richards? Who's next? And how soon will the show replace Alex Trebek?

Michael Colton talked about his Thursday "Jeopardy!" win during a Friday Television Critics Association panel for his upcoming ABC sitcom, "Home Economics."
Michael Colton talked about his Thursday "Jeopardy!" win during a Friday Television Critics Association panel for his upcoming ABC sitcom, "Home Economics."

As befitting his comedy background, Colton provided levity when a reporter addressed him as "current reigning 'Jeopardy!' champion Michael Colton" with the panel's second-to-last question.

"Thank you for bringing this up. I was a little annoyed that none of the people before you brought it up," he said, acting miffed before taking a victory lap. "We’ll do a separate breakout TCA session later just to talk about it."

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Colton did his own promotional work for Thursday's "Jeopardy!" appearance, confusing it on purpose with another popular game show,"Wheel of Fortune" in a tweet: "Keep an eye out for the embarrassing moment when I tried to buy a vowel!"

In another tweet, Colton, who originally was scheduled to tape Nov. 9, said it was "crushing" that he couldn't appear on an episode hosted by legendary Alex Trebek, who died Nov. 8. He said guest host Mike Richards did "a fantastic job" when he taped the show a few weeks ago.

As Colton briefly basked in triumph at Friday's "Home Economics" Zoom panel, Grace, who's also an executive producer, remarked that the "Jeopardy!" winner "had a kind of swagger this morning on set."

However, Colton appeared to realize the price of his exuberance when he noticed his longtime writing partner on a separate screen. "Look at John's face. John is so sick of me talking about 'Jeopardy!' "

Aboud played along. "Look, we've been working together 20 years now and it's just kind of really satisfying for me personally that now I've got the answer to a question I've long wondered: How could Mike get more annoying? Now, I know."

Ah, a punchline in the form of a question. Funny and oh-so "Jeopardy!" appropriate.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Jeopardy!' champ Michael Colton has a new ABC show, 'Home Economics'