Question answered: G.O.A.T. Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings has been named the iconic game show’s temporary new guest host, succeeding the legendary Alex Trebek, who died on Nov. 8 of pancreatic cancer. Additional guest hosts will be revealed in the coming days/weeks. A permanent host will be announced at a later date.
Jennings will make his Jeopardy! hosting debut on Monday, Jan. 11.
“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” said EP 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.”
Jennings ascension to guest host was foreshadowed last September when he joined the show as a consulting producer. In that new role, he presented his own special video categories, developed projects, assisted with contestant outreach, and served as a general ambassador for the show.
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Trebek first revealed his cancer diagnosis in March 2019 via a video announcement. Though he acknowledged that the prognosis for his illness was “not very encouraging,” Trebek said at the time that he planned “to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.” Throughout his struggle with the disease, he continued to host Jeopardy! (which then went on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic), and he offered frequent health updates to fans while undergoing treatment.
Trebek’s final Jeopardy! episode — originally set to air on Dec. 25 — will now air Friday, Jan. 8. During the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28, the show will pay tribute Trebek by rebroadcasting 10 of his best episodes