Bob Costas Turned Down 'Jeopardy!' Guest-Hosting Offer—Report

Bob Costas reportedly turned down an offer to serve as a guest presenter on Jeopardy! ahead of a host of celebrities stepping up for a brief turn at the lectern.

The veteran sportscaster, 69, is said to have rejected the offer last year due to COVID-19 reasons, but also stated that he wasn't interested in becoming a long-term replacement for Jeopardy! icon Alex Trebek, who passed away in November.

Fellow sports journalist Jay Mariotti took to his blog last week to share details of a text exchange he had with Costas about the long-running syndicated show.

"Would have been fun as a one-time experience, but I never saw myself as the right person for the job," Mariotti quoted Costas as saying.

According to the texts, one factor behind Costas' decision appeared to be age, with the former NBC Sports host quoted as saying of the potential new host: "Whoever winds up doing it, I think he or she should be in their forties or early fifties.

"That seems like the best fit. I know Alex was around 80, but he had the eternal equity with the audience and could have continued as long as he was able.''

Newsweek has contacted a representative for Bob Costas for comment.

Bob Costas
Bob Costas attends the 32nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis at New York Hilton Midtown on September 25, 2017 in New York City. The sportscaster last year turned down an offer to temporarily host "Jeopardy!" it has been reported. Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis

A number of stars stepped up to temporarily host Jeopardy! as producers sought a permanent replacement for Trebek.

Among them were LeVar Burton, Ken Jennings, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Savannah Guthrie, Anderson Cooper, Joe Buck, Bill Whittaker, David Faber, Aaron Rodgers, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Buzzy Cohen.

On August 11, it was announced by Sony Pictures Television that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards and actress Mayim Bialik had been selected to share hosting duties on the beloved quiz show.

However, Richards stepped down from his coveted presenting role just nine days later, after offensive comments he had made on his old podcast resurfaced. At the time of the podcast, he was serving as a producer on The Price Is Right.

Amid the resulting backlash, Richards announced that he was stepping down from his newly assigned post, as he said in a statement: "It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter.

"As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.

"As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today. [Sony Pictures Television] will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host.

"In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week.

"I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."

Following Richards' departure as host of the nightly syndicated show, it was announced that Bialik, who has been drafted in to present Jeopardy! specials, will temporarily fill in ahead of more guest presenters taking the helm.

Late "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek speaks during a rehearsal before a taping of Jeopardy! Power Players Week at DAR Constitution Hall on April 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. The beloved TV presenter passed away in November. Kris Connor/Getty Images