Ken Jennings, who has the honor of being known as one of the greatest Jeopardy contestants on record, will be filling in as the first interim host of the famed syndicated series when it resumes production on November 30, as predicted first by OK!.
“The transition into finding a new host, not a replacement, cannot be rushed,” a source stressed to OK! earlier this month, adding that one potential move may be to have a “bunch of rotating hosts at first and not commit to a new permanent host until the show’s audience is given a voice in the process.”
The source added, “Don’t count Ken out!” when discussing the multitude of names that might be suitable replacements for late host Alex Trebek, who succumbed to cancer on November 8.
Indeed, this is exactly how things panned out, with Jennings slated as the first in a series of guest hosts as the show takes its time deciding who would be the best permanent replacement for Trebek.
"Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him," said executive producer Mike Richards 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."
The show's producers had a range of marquee names on tap for the coveted post, including TV icon Gayle King to potentially replace Trebek, however, in the end it seemed unsure if King would have time for such a commitment. Alec Baldwin and Meredith Vieira were names that have also been floating around for years.
Jennings won the primetime Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time tournament earlier this year, defeating James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter in the best-of-seven format. He also holds the show's record for consecutive games won at 74 and most winnings in regular play ($2,520,700).