Jeopardy!, and the world at large, suffered a great loss when Alex Trebek died of pancreatic cancer earlier this month. Jeopardy! tapes episodes in advance, so Trebek’s final appearance on the show won’t air until next month. But then what? Since Trebek’s passing, there have been plenty of theories and suggestions as to who might take over as host of the iconic trivia series. For now, Jeopardy! plans to resume production at the end of this month with a rotating list of guest hosts, including previous Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings.
After Alex Trebek’s death, many wondered who would step in to host Jeopardy! A list of names has been going around, but the name at the top of the list always seems to be Ken Jennings, who holds the distinction of being the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time along with the record for the longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history with 74 wins.
And it looks like Jennings will indeed be taking over as host – but not permanently. At least not yet. A press release today states that production on Jeopardy! will resume on Monday, November 30. For now, a long-term replacement will not be named. Instead, the show will feature “a series of interim guest hosts from within the Jeopardy! family, starting with Ken Jennings.” Will Jennings eventually take over the show permanently, after the guest host era has ended? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” said Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards. “We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”
The series will also air 10 of Alex Trebek’s best episodes between the weeks of December 21 and December 28, 2020. At first it was reported that Trebek’s final taped episode would air on Christmas Day 2020, but now the show reports that “due to anticipated preemptions around Christmas and New Year’s, Alex’s last week of episodes will now air the week of January 4, 2021, in order to give his millions of fans a chance to see his final appearances.” The guest-hosted episodes will then begin the week of January 11, 2021. Jeopardy! premiered in 1964 and was originally hosted by Art Fleming. Alex Trebek took over as host of the show in 1987 and hosted for 37 seasons.