‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings Named Interim Host Following Alex Trebek’s Death

What is: perfection! Former Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings has been named the interim host of Jeopardy! following the death of Alex Trebek.

Jeopardy! announced in a statement on Nov. 23 that Jennings will be the first in a series of guest hosts when the popular game show resumes filming on Nov. 30.

Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings on ‘Jeopardy!’ | Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images

Ken Jennings will be the first of many guest hosts on ‘Jeopardy!’

Guest hosts will reportedly continue to lead the show until a permanent replacement for Trebek is found.

“We will resume production on 11/30 with a series of interim guest hosts from the Jeopardy! family – starting with Ken Jennings,” the statement read. “Additional guest hosts to be announced.”

The game show’s tweeted statement also included a statement from Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards.

“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” the statement said. “We will honor his legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Trebek’s last episode of Jeopardy! will not air on Christmas Day as previously reported (his last day of filming was Oct. 29). Instead, his 10 best episodes will air from Dec. 21 through Dec. 28, and his final episodes will begin airing Jan. 4. Jennings’ first episodes will start airing the week of Jan. 11.

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Ken Jennings became a ‘Jeopardy!’ consulting producer in September 2020

Jennings is one of the most famous Jeopardy! contestants of all time, holding the record for the most wins in the show’s long history. He also won Jeopardy!‘s “Greatest of All Time” tournament earlier this year and was hired by the show as a consulting producer in September.

According to Jeopardy.com, Jennings’ role was as a “general ambassador” for the series.

“He’ll be presenting special clues and categories, offering his expertise in new contestant searches, and helping develop Jeopardy! projects,” the site stated.

Trebek once hinted Jennings could be his replacement in an appearance on Conan, and fans have long thought Jennings would be a practical match for the show, so it really is a great fit.

Alex Trebek on 'Jeopardy!' The Greatest of All Time tournament
Alex Trebek on ‘Jeopardy!’ The Greatest of All Time tournament | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

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Alex Trebek died on Nov. 8

Trebek hosted the game show for 36 years. In March 2019, he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He stayed open with his millions of fans throughout his treatment giving updates on his health and demeanor. Jeopardy! announced on Sunday, Nov. 8 that Trebek died that morning surrounded by family and friends.

Following his death, Jennings reacted to the news saying, “Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him. Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family—which, in a way, included millions of us.”