It has been two weeks since the death of television icon Alex Trebek, and the pain is still felt by longtime fans of the long-running series. Trebek’s final episodes will continue to roll out between now and January, but the question of who, and how, the quiz show will continue without him looms large.
“Jeopardy!” is filming its first new episodes since Trebek’s death and a series of guest hosts will be filling in, including Ken Jennings. Jennings famously become the highest-earning American gameshow contestant of all time when he won 74 games of “Jeopardy!,” totaling $2.52 million dollars in winnings. He has been called the greatest “Jeopardy” player of all time. Since his landmark run, Jennings has been brought on as a consulting producer for the series.
Jennings will be the first of several interim guest hosts when the series returns to production November 30, according to Sony Pictures Television. No other guest hosts have been announced.
“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 in a statement. “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 was hit hard by the arrival of the global pandemic earlier this year, having to remove the studio audience and eventually halt production due to Trebek’s immunocompromised state. Trebek was praised for continuing to work long after his diagnosis.
Viewers throughout social media have said that, should “Jeopardy” decide to continue with a replacement, that Jennings is an ideal option to take over. Other suggestions have included LeVar Burton, Anderson Cooper, and TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. The studio has said they will not announce a replacement for Trebek at this time.
The first episodes with Jennings and the other guest hosts will start airing January 11, 2021. A selection of Trebek’s best episodes will air from December 21 – 28 with his last episodes set to roll out the week of January 4.