‘Jeopardy!’ legend Ken Jennings is the first in what will be a series of guest hosts taking over the late Alex Trebek’s spot as the gameshow’s host.
The show announced the temporary new host on Monday in a press release. New hosts will be rotated in on a temporary basis until a permanent host is picked. Trebek died from cancer in November at the age of 80.
“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards said 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.”
Jennings said he was “honored” for the opportunity to host the show. “There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I’m honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January,” Jennings said. He will begin filming new episodes of the show on Nov. 30.
There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January. https://t.co/2m2b5IQnkw
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 23, 2020
Jennings is one of the most successful “Jeopardy!” contestants in the show’s history. As the gameshow noted, “earlier this year, Jennings claimed the title of Jeopardy!’s ‘Greatest of All Time’ in an epic prime-time event; he also holds the all-time records for most consecutive games won (74) and highest winnings in regular-season play ($2,520,700). Additional guest hosts will be announced in the weeks ahead.”
The gameshow has been playing through a backlog of show content that Trebek recorded in the months before he died. For two weeks around Christmas and New Years, the show will play ten of Trebek’s best episodes before playing what is left of Trebek’s unaired content in January.
“As we remember and celebrate the life of Alex Trebek, we will air 10 of his best episodes the weeks of 12/21 and 12/28, and air his final week of episodes starting 1/4,” the show said.
As we remember and celebrate the life of Alex Trebek, we will air 10 of his best episodes the weeks of 12/21 and 12/28, and air his final week of episodes starting 1/4. https://t.co/HQaNewWa9U pic.twitter.com/aYPUOEuEwF
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 23, 2020
Trebek died on Nov. 8 after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year. He had taped his final episode of ‘Jeopardy’ just over a week before. 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.”
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