A source with Sony has confirmed to the Deseret News that the “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” champion will return to the hosting lectern on Monday, Nov. 8 — the one-year anniversary of Alex Trebek’s death.
Ken Jennings is hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ again
Starting Monday, Jennings will be the second host of the quiz show’s 38th season.
Mayim Bialik, a neuroscientist and actress known for her role as Amy Farrah Fowler in “The Big Bang Theory,” has been hosting since the season premiered on Sept. 13.
Jennings’ initial stint as host took place earlier this year, just two months after Trebek’s death from pancreatic cancer. At the start of his hosting debut, the “Jeopardy!” legend, who was a friend of Trebek’s, paid tribute to the longtime host.
“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said at the time, the Deseret News reported. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years — and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, his charm, his grace — really, there’s no other word for it.
“Like all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans, I miss Alex,” he continued with emotion. “Very much. And I thank him for everything he did for all of us. Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek, but we can honor him by playing the game he loved.”
Jennings’ debut as the inaugural guest host was a huge success — during the first week of his six-week stint, he brought in an average of 10.3 million viewers, second this past season only to Trebek’s final week as host, the Deseret News reported. Of all the 16 guest hosts who would fill in for the show’s 37th season, Jennings had the highest ratings.
Jim Gilligan — who was the final “Jeopardy!” winner under Trebek and the first returning champion under Jennings — said he admired Jennings for stepping into the role of host so soon after Trebek’s death.
“To him, Alex was not just a host — they had become friends,” Gilligan told the Deseret News earlier this year. “And then to step into that role on a national stage and try to do the job, I can’t imagine that’s easy. So I have great respect for him to be doing that and to carry on as another tribute to Alex, really.”
How long will Ken Jennings host ‘Jeopardy!’?
A few months ago, “Jeopardy!” announced that Bialik and Jennings would split hosting responsibilities as their schedules allowed for the 2021 calendar year, the Deseret News reported.
“Jeopardy!” has not yet revealed any hosting information for beyond 2021.
Jennings, who is a consulting producer for “Jeopardy!,” is certainly a favorite to host the quiz show, although he also has obligations with the ABC trivia game show “The Chase,” where he works alongside “Jeopardy!” legends James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter.
“The Chase” recently announced that its second season will premiere Jan. 5.