Ken Jennings Will Be the First Guest Host for 'Jeopardy!' Following Alex Trebek's Death

Sony Pictures Television has announced that Ken Jennings will serve as the first of a run of temporary 'Jeopardy!' hosts following the death of Alex Trebek.

Ken Jennings

Image via Getty/Gary Gershoff

Ken Jennings

On Monday, Sony Pictures Television announced the first person who will assume the duties of hosting Jeopardy! in the wake of Alex Trebek's death. 

As it turns out, the role will be filled by Ken Jennings, with the plan being for him to be the first of multiple temporary guest hosts. Note that Jennings' fame is tied to the show after he rattled off an absurd 74-game winning streak back in 2004.

In that run, he won more than $2.5 million.

The news could all be an adjustment for long-time fans, as Trebek had remained the only host up until now, the 37th year that the show's been in syndication.

Still, the stated purpose of giving Jennings the temporary position is to keep things familiar for the fans.

“Alex believed in the importance of ‘Jeopardy!’! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” said the game show's executive producer Mike Richards. “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.”

Production for the show will resume next Monday, November 30.

Trebek died on November 8 due to pancreatic cancer. He was first diagnosed with the disease in March 2019, and served in his role as host all the way up until October 29, 2020. 

At this time, a long-term replacement will not be announced. In addition to floating Jennings as a person who could fill that role, names that have been tossed out by sections of the public, Trebek, and possibly some agents with media contacts, include George Stephanopoulos, Anderson Cooper, Alex Faust, and Levar Burton, among others.

More guest hosts will be unveiled at a later date, but for now, the Jennings idea should be interesting. 

There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January.

— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 23, 2020

As for what fans can expect in the immediate future, the weeks of December 21 and 28 will see an airing of Trebek's 10 best episodes. Then the last new/unaired Trebek episodes will come after the holidays, during the week of January 4, with the episodes hosted by Jennings and yet-to-be-named others starting up January 11.

Latest in Pop Culture