Production To Resume November 30 With Series Of Guest Hosts; Ken Jennings To Host First

Ken Jennings was named the first in a series of Jeopardy! guest hosts on November 23, 2020.

Jeopardy! production is resuming November 30 with a series of guest hosts, the show announced via its social media channels today. Ken Jennings, who won 74 games in 2004, will be the first guest host.

Additionally, according to WBZ Boston, Alex Trebek’s final episode is now airing January 8, 2021, with 10 of Alex’s best episodes airing between December 21, 2020 and January 1, 2021. The first Ken Jennings episode will air January 11, 2021. Here at The Jeopardy! Fan, I was calling for the show to do exactly this, and I am very happy to see that common sense has prevailed here.

In a statement from Executive Producer Mike Richards, “Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him. 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.”

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31 Comments on "Production To Resume November 30 With Series Of Guest Hosts; Ken Jennings To Host First"

  1. Brad (not Rutter) | November 23, 2020 at 5:24 pm |

    Excellent. I hope Jeopardy doesn’t suffer the same fate as Siskel and Ebert after Siskel died- a bunch of different hosts, never recaptured the magic, ultimately cancelled.

  2. Looks like you might have lit the fire that led the producers to move Alex’s last episodes and save them from being pre-empted. Good for you, and thanks! It would have just added to the heartbreak if we didn’t get to say a final goodbye

  3. Sounds good to me. Hopefully the big 3 all get to host.

  4. I feel like November 30 is a terrible time to resume taping. Even if all the contestants are from SoCal.

    • Marty Cunningham | November 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm |

      They normally take a break in November and do resume taping after Thanksgiving, for about three weeks in November to December, before taking another holiday break. When i taped my shows three years ago, i won on the Wednesday taping in early November, around the 8th, then had to wait two weeks before i could return, right after the Thanksgiving holiday.
      Plus, they were moving the taping dates that week after Thanksgiving, from normal Tuesday and Wednesday, up a day, to Monday and Tuesday, because Alex had to go to Canada at the end of the week to get some special honor from the Canadian government. They did provide airfare for returning champs at that time, so they wanted me to fly back out on Sunday, to be there for taping on Monday, but i pointed out that that Sunday was at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, so THE busiest travel day of the year, plus i would be flying out of Denver, so hard to guess what the weather could be like to fly out, so I talked them into my flying out earlier, so they actually found cheaper fares (about half price) if i flew out on the Friday after Thanksgiving. So, i got a few more days in California for my return trip, and yes, it was “on my dime” but i had already picked up some ‘extra dimes’ on my first trip out there, so it was not really a problem.
      So, to resume taping on the 30th makes perfect sense to me (basically, ‘been there, done that’). And, really, no one in SoCal should have the same travel issues that other contestants would have coming from other parts of the country right now. And, enough companies should be able to give employees personal time off now, if they had to go to LA for a couple days of taping.
      I get the feeling they may use the rest of this season to ‘audition’ different guest hosts, and hopefully more than just former contestants, and maybe make a decision about a new host to begin next fall for season 38, and use the rest of season 37 to ‘rebuild’ some sports teams do.
      And remember, Alex was still kind of an unknown commodity 37 years ago, after many other short-lived game shows up to that point, and it took him a while to grow into the style and pacing of the show and kind of make it his own. They just re-ran the very first episode, and there was a huge difference between his first appearance who see now. Still have mixed feelings about who could be the best fit, so it might be nice to see quite a few different faces. The fan base is passionate enough that they will make their opinions very well known about favorites, and long shots.

  5. Boo. My choice is NYC bartender Austin.

  6. Prithvi Sudhakar | November 23, 2020 at 7:16 pm |

    I had a feeling that Ken would be the next host!

    I wonder what it will be like if in a game, he introduces a category presented by himself.

  7. Definitely Brad as he is the perfect candidate. Not cocky and very down to earth!

    • Gary Kevin Ware | November 24, 2020 at 10:38 pm |

      I agree that it should be someone with gravitas. Of the four former contestants mentioned, that would make Brad Rutter the best, although I don’t think that the ultimate choice should be a former contestant.

  8. Rebecca Holmes | November 23, 2020 at 9:12 pm |

    Maybe Austin will also be a guest host

  9. Ahh yes, the classic “guest host” strategy. Also known as “auditions”. It’s been done before in dozens of cases—from “Live” having “guests hosts” to audition for replacements for both Kathie Lee and Regis, to CBS auditioning “guest hosts” to replace a Craig Kilborn on the Late Late Show, to Wrigley Field having “guests” sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame after Harry Carey died. Hopefully it goes well, and quickly—but I wouldn’t be surprised if it runs through the end of the season.

  10. My vote is for Brad Rutter. As with Alex, he’s got a low-key personality, so the focus will be on the contestants, not him.

  11. I would have liked to have seen Kelly Miyahara take over as host as she has done announcing on Sports Jeopardy and was a Clue Crew member. However, since she left the show it appears that won’t happen.

  12. Buzzy Cohen for host.

  13. After some thinking, I really hope Jimmy McGuire tries and ends up as the new host.

    As much as I love Ken, Austin, Brad, Buzzy, I worry about having a past contestant host, and we don’t know how good they’ll be as a host – they may be great as a player, and have experience with this kind of thing, but this is a different skillset. Many of them have their own things going on, fans will be elated and mad no matter which one of them would get it, and there’s always a chance of conflict of interest as a past player, especially if they want to bring that person back ever.

    Jimmy has 20 years of history with the show, we know he can read clues well, and he’s a very nice person. Plus I don’t think there’s risk of obsessive fans being problematic if he gets it, and it wouldn’t take the focus awaay from the players. I think, if he was interested, he’d be the best fit for the show.

    • Or maybe Sarah Whitcomb Foss. She’s been with the show just as long and is just as good and qualified.

  14. Christopher DeCarlo | November 25, 2020 at 12:11 am |

    It will be interesting to see how this goes. As Ken stated on Twitter, there can only be one Alex Trebek, but it is splendid that the show is honoring his memory and carrying on- just as he would have wanted.

  15. Ken Jennings retweeted a tweet from a Jeopardy fan unhappy with his selection as a guest host. It read: “They may as well let a loaf of bread host it”. Ken said he can’t stop laughing at this.

  16. I am old enough to remember Art Fleming as the original host of Jeopardy and was on Chuck Woolery’s last show of Wheel of Fortune. Although I thought Alex was a wonderful host he’s not irreplaceable as a host. I have no doubt that whoever is eventually selected as a new permanent host will make
    Jeopardy his/her own as have Jay Leno, Steven Colbert, and many others who had to follow in the footsteps of greatness.

  17. Let’s hope the Boston CBS affiliate airs Alex’s final episode. The pre-empt Jeopardy every Friday night for Patriots All Access. 🙁

  18. As others have said, I would like to see Brad Rutter get a “tryout.” Brooke Burns is another who should be considered. She did very well reading rapid fire questions on the timed portions of The Chase and Masterminds.

  19. John Feathr | December 3, 2020 at 7:07 pm |

    I can’t think of a better choice to succeed Alex than Ken Jennings. Congratulations to all that were involved in this decision.

  20. I would really like to see Austin Rogers get a shot at hosting. I love Jeopardy, of course, but it became a whole new level of fun when Austin was a contestant. I’ve seen some of his YouTube videos as well. The man has a magnetic personality, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he can bring levity to the show.

    As for Ken, the best player doesn’t necessarily make a good host. Same with Buzzy and James H.

  21. I too don’t see why the host has to be a previous contestant. Ken Jennings has no charisma, plus his humblesmug expressions are not a good look. Please pick someone with ease and personality and not just someone who knows a lot of trivia. Just my opinion of course but better previous player choices would be Julia Collins, Brad, Buzzy, Coby or Austin if they just absolutely must go there. Please, not Ken. On a different note, thank you so much for all of your work and dedication to keeping everything up to date here!

  22. According to TV Guide and the Comcast on-screen program guide, the episodes for the week of December 21 are all new. Do you know what’s going on here?

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