Alex Trebek May Know When He's Leaving Jeopardy

jeopardy alex trebek
(Image credit: Image courtesy of CBS)

Alex Trebek has been a fixture on the small screen for more than 30 years now thanks to his role as host of Jeopardy. At this point, it's difficult to imagine a world in which Jeopardy is hosted by anybody other than Trebek. Recently, however, Trebek indicated that he may actually know when he's going to leave the series, and it's sooner than longtime fans may want to hear. I'll take bad news for $1000, Alex!

In an appearance on TMZ founder Harvey Levin's Fox News series OBJECTified, Alex Trebek revealed that there's a greater than 50/50 chance that he'll leave Jeopardy after his current contract expires, which means that Trebek could host his last round of Jeopardy as soon as 2020. While that still leaves viewers with more than a year of guaranteed Trebek on the small screen, 2020 is still awfully close, especially considering that Trebek has been on the air for 34 years at this point. What's a year and a half in the grand scheme of 30+ years?

Of course, Alex Trebek leaving Jeopardy doesn't necessarily mean the end of Jeopardy. Although few may remember this fun fact nowadays, Trebek was not actually the original host of the series. Rather, the first three runs of the series were hosted by Art Fleming, on and off from 1964 - 1979. Trebek took over the show when it came back for a new run at syndication in 1984. Jeopardy as a franchise survived a host switch before; could it do so again?

Well, in the OBJECTified episode (via Fox News), Alex Trebek revealed he already has an idea of who should replace him, and it's not a name that he just pulled out of thin air. Trebek shared his pick as a replacement, saying this:

I mentioned to our producer not so long ago that the fellow that does play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings -- they should consider him.

According to Alex Trebek, Los Angeles King announcer Alex Faust would make for a fitting replacement, and Trebek apparently feels strongly enough about Faust that he already mentioned him to a Jeopardy producer. The good news is that contestants could still say "I'll take Before & After for $1000, Alex!" (or one of the other most common categories) if Faust stepped in. The bad news is that Alex Faust stepping in would mean Trebek stepping out.

All of this said, Trebek also has an idea of a woman who could take over as host, and her name is not Alex. Here's Trebek's other suggestion for future Jeopardy host:

There is an attorney, Laura Coates. She's African-American and she appears some of the cable news shows from time to time.

Perhaps Laura Coates could be the next face of Jeopardy! At this point, we can count on Alex Trebek in the top job until at least 2020. As sad as it would be to lose Trebek as host, could we really blame him for moving on? By the end of his time, he'll have dedicated more than 35 years of his life to the show, even returning to his role in front of the camera after brain surgery. If Trebek wants to retire or just do his own thing following the end of his contract in 2020, we can only wish him the best.

Still, what next? Will Pat Sajak leave Wheel of Fortune? Will Vanna White wear her last evening gown? Will the face of broadcast TV game shows be totally different by 2021? Only time will tell. For some upcoming viewing options, check out our fall TV premiere guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).