Alex Trebek can never really be replaced, but the search is still on for a new Jeopardy! host
Since Alex Trebek died earlier this month, fans of Jeopardy! have been wondering how the show will continue on without its host, who is, frankly, an icon. Viewers have been circulating a petition online calling for LeVar Burton, the former host of Reading Rainbow, to take the top job, but for now (and likely for the rest of this season), there’s a different plan in place. Beginning after Trebek’s final episodes air in January, Jeopardy! will cycle through a series of guest hosts, beginning with none other than one of the most celebrated players of all time: Ken Jennings.
The show announced in a statement that production on Jennings’ episodes would begin at the end of this month.
“Alex believed in the important of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” executive producer Mike Richards wrote in a statement. “We will honor his legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved.”
Trebek’s final episodes were originally scheduled to air in mid-December, but producers also announced that they’ve made some changes to the schedule. Now, they’re planning to air a series of Trebek’s top 10 episodes during the final two weeks of December, and will air the beloved host’s final five pre-taped Jeopardy! episodes during the week of Jan. 4.
Jennings will begin his tenure as interim host after that. The show hasn’t announced who any of the other guest hosts will be.
Jennings posted his own statement to Twitter, promising to do his best to honor the great Trebek’s legacy.
And fans quickly took to social media to celebrate the fact the Jennings will be the first Jeopardy! host after Trebek. In case you don’t remember, Jennings appeared on the show as a contestant in 2004, smashing all records that existed at the time by winning 74 consecutive games, and a total of nearly $5 million in all of his combined Jeopardy! appearances.
There’s still no word on when Jeopardy! might name a permanent new host, but we can only assume producers will want to see how audiences react to all the interim hosts before they make that decision. Alex Trebek left some pretty massive shoes to fill, after all.
So for now, we’ll just be waiting to hear who the other guests hosts will be (and hoping LeVar Burton is one of them). Whoever is chosen to carry on Alex Trebek’s legacy will have to be a pretty special host, and that’s worth waiting for.