ABC News host George Stephanopoulos’ reps are reportedly already pushing for him to replace the late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who died Sunday at age 80 from pancreatic cancer.
Stephanopoulos has been eyeing the iconic job for a while and his agent has been “lobbying hard” for him to do it, according to TheWrap, which cited a “highly placed person” with knowledge of the situation.
ABC News, where the former Democratic operative serves as a political correspondent and co-host of “Good Morning America,” owns the syndication rights to “Jeopardy!” The beloved gameshow, which Trebek hosted for 36 years, is distributed by CBS Television and produced by Sony Television.
A source at ABC denied the TheWrap’s report to the New York Post, however, saying, “Of course he’s not lobbying … how disrespectful would that be to Alex’s family.”
Radio host Howard Stern floated the idea of replacing Trebek to Stephanopoulos during an interview in May, according to the New York Post. “The first thing I said was ‘George Stephanopoulos’ and everyone went, ‘That ain’t crazy,”’ Stern told him. “You’ve got the intellectual capacity.”
“I think it would be a lot of fun, but I like what I’m doing too,” Stephanopoulos responded. “I am not going to be Shermanesque about it. It’s a great show … It’s very flattering. Big shoes to fill.”
“It’s a show that wouldn’t damage your reputation,” Stern added. “There is a certain gravitas. It’s for brighter people. It would make you look good.”
Trebek died Sunday following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He reportedly spent his last day looking at the horizon on his swing next to his wife, Jean, according to the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards. “Even in his book, he described that he wanted his final day to be sitting on his swing next to his wife, Jean, and kind of watching the horizon and he got to do that,” Richards said.
As The Daily Wire reported:
Alex Trebek, the host of the “Jeopardy!” gameshow since 1984, has died.
“Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” the gameshow wrote on its Twitter account.
The TV icon, whose avuncular personality and biting wit made the daily show a must-see for millions of Americans, announced in March 2019 that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He went through chemotherapy after the diagnosis but said he had no plans to retire.
Trebek stayed on as host for another full year and talked openly about “massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on.”
In one statement at the end of a show, Trebek noted that the odds of surviving a second year with pancreatic cancer were just 7%, but said he hoped to be an outlier on that statistic.
He stopped taping his shows on Oct. 29, and “Jeopardy!” said his episodes will air through Dec. 25th.
Related: Alex Trebek Dies Of Cancer At 80
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