Ken Jennings’ time as ‘Jeopardy!’ host is almost up. What happens next?
Unless he gets pulled back in to become the official “Jeopardy!” host, Ken Jennings will soon be signing off for the final time
Jennings’ time as host has been a ratings success, with his debut week in January bringing in an average of 10.3 million viewers — second this season only to Alex Trebek’s final week as host, the Deseret News previously reported.
Many “Jeopardy!” fans have especially appreciated Jennings for paying tribute to Trebek each night with the special sign-off, “Thank you, Alex.”
“I’m glad he did,” Jennings wrote. “There wouldn’t be a show without Alex.”
At the start of his first game as host on Jan. 11, Jennings honored Trebek with a special message, saying that Alex did the job “pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years.”
“Like all ‘Jeopardy!’ fans, I miss Alex,” he said 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.”
After Jennings says “Thank you, Alex,” for the final time, Richards will then step in as guest host for two weeks starting on Feb. 22. From there, a series of notable figures and celebrities will then have their turns behind the “Jeopardy!” host lectern, the Deseret News reported.
That includes journalist Katie Couric, NFL star Aaron Rodgers, “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker, “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik, Dr. Oz, Anderson Cooper, “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
“Jeopardy!” is not naming an official host at this time. The show likely won’t name a permanent new host before spring, according to the Deseret News.
In the meantime, Jennings will continue to appear on the new U.S. adaptation of the game show “The Chase,” along with fellow “Jeopardy!” legends Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. He’s also been a consulting producer for “Jeopardy!” since the start of the current season and will continue in that role, presenting special clues and categories, among other responsibilities.