Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away in early November at the age of 80, but Trebek's death doesn't mean the end of the series he worked so hard to bring to television for so many years. Jeopardy! isn't selecting a full-time replacement just yet, but starting a cycle of guest hosts with somebody who will be a very familiar face to fans. Prepare to see Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings asking questions in the form of answers!
Ken Jennings, who returned to the Jeopardy spotlight earlier this year when he beat James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter in ABC's Jeopardy! The Greatest Of All Time, will serve as the first in a series of interim guest hosts when Jeopardy airs new episodes filmed following Alex Trebek's death, according to jeopardy.com. Production resumes on Monday, November 30.
All things considered, Ken Jennings is arguably the ideal guest host to take the reins on Jeopardy! following Alex Trebek passing away. Not only did Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time bring him back to TV, but he also signed on to work on the show before Trebek died, although not in a hosting capacity. Jennings also still holds Jeopardy! records for the most consecutive games won (with 74) and highest winning in regular-season play (with upward of $2.5 million).
Jeopardy! has not yet announced the guest hosts who will helm episodes of the game show beyond Ken Jennings, but there is no shortage of candidates between past Jeopardy! legends and others who have been suggested as new hosts (such as Star Trek's LeVar Burton), among others. Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards commented on the process of filling Alex Trebek's formidable hosting shoes, saying:
Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him. 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 show will also honor Alex Trebek to close out the year. Commemorating the man who made Jeopardy! what it is today, the show will air ten of Trebek's best episodes during the weeks of December 21 and December 28. His final week of episodes will air in the new year, beginning on January 4, 2021 due to anticipated preemptions by holiday programming at the end of 2020.
Viewers can expect to see the first week of Jeopardy! episodes with guest hosts during the week of January 11, starting with Ken Jennings. For his part, Jennings took to social media to comment on his upcoming role as Jeopardy! guest host:
Alex Trebek passed away on November 8 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, which the Jeopardy! host spoke candidly about following his diagnosis and throughout treatment. Trebek reportedly was able to spend his final day exactly the way he wanted, and was not in any pain. Trebek evidently wanted Jeopardy! to go on even after he passed away, and the show will do just that.
Check your local listings for upcoming episodes of Jeopardy! and be sure to swing by our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for more upcoming viewing options.