Jeopardy! is soldiering on with Ken Jennings set to host the first new episodes of the game show since the passing of longtime host Alex Trebeck. The producers have revealed that Jennings, easily the most famous contestant in the history of the series, will step in, at least temporarily, to help fill the shoes left behind by Trebeck. The news comes several weeks after Trebeck's passing.
Ken Jennings has been viewed as the top candidate to replace Alex Trebeck in the long run. Trebeck passed away earlier this month following a lengthy cancer battle. Jeopardy will resume production at the end of November with Jennings on board to be the first in a line of guest hosts. Other hosts will be announced at a later date. The news was revealed on the show's official social media channels with the following message.
"We will resume production on 11/30 with a series of interim guest hosts from the Jeopardy! family, starting with Ken Jennings. Additional guest hosts to be announced."
Alex Trebeck picked up as host of the show in 1984 and held the mantle right up until his passing. Trebeck's final episodes will air during the week of January 4. Episodes hosted by Ken Jennings will then follow the week of January 11. It has not yet been revealed how many episodes Jennings will host. It also isn't clear how many other guest hosts will step in before a permanent replacement is announced. Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards had this to say about it.
"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."
Whether or not there is a future beyond these initial episodes for Ken Jennings remains to be seen. Jennings became a sensation in the early 2000s with a massive Jeopardy winning streak totaling 74 games. He earned more than $2.5 million, a record for regular-season play. Jennings won the "GOAT" tournament earlier this year. That paved the way for him to become a consulting producer on the show. So he had already taken on a more active role prior to Trebeck's passing. Given his place in the show's history, Jennings does seem like the logical choice for the job.
Other names that have been suggested including former Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton. Either way, the show will go on without Alex Trebeck, who is synonymously associated with it, having hosted thousands of episodes across several decades. Starting on December 21, a selection of Trebeck's ten best episodes will air ahead of his final episodes as host. You can check out the official announcement from the Jeopardy Twitter account.