'Jeopardy!' Hosts: The Guest Hosts Who Will Be Replacing Alex Trebek

Jeopardy! fans were recently saddened by the death of beloved long-time host Alex Trebek at the age of 80, but the (game) show must go on. The syndicated show has started to announce a series of interim guest presenters, who will appear on the show after Trebek's final episode airs in January. The first of these is a genuine Jeopardy! legend—and fans have some strong ideas about who the next ones should be.

The first guest host has been announced as Ken Jennings, whose run on Jeopardy! and many appearances on the show (including a 74-day winning streak) and other game shows have made him the highest-earning game show contestant of all time. He will be first appearing in the hosting slot on the show's Monday, January 11 episode.

This comes after Jennings was made a consulting producer on the show, and has already been reading categories on-air.

In a tweet from the Jeopardy! account, producers said that the remaining hosts would be "from the Jeopardy! family," and that "additional guest hosts [are] to be announced."

jeopardy guest hosts
Ken Jennings (right) has been named as the first interim guest host of 'Jeopardy!'. ABC

Executive producer Mike Richards added in a statement: "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."

It seems unlikely, however, that Jennings will end up as the main host of the game show. He has recently signed up to be one of the "Chasers" on the U.S.'s remake of The Chase, in which trivia experts take on ordinary contestants. Depending on his contract term, this may preclude him from taking the hosting role.

The other two "Chasers," however, are likely candidates for guest host, especially as producers say they are looking at presenters from the Jeopardy! family. They are Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer, the second and third-highest earning game show contestants respectively.

The "Jeopardy! family" quote, however, may suggest that the fan choice of Jeopardy! host may not come to pass. A Change.org petition to make one-time Reading Rainbow presenter LeVar Burton the new host has reached over 100,000 signatures. This could still mean, however, that he does eventually become the full-time host after this series of interims.

Among other names touted by fans of the show to take over are a number of popular scientists, with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye among the names often mentioned. There have also been reports that Good Morning America and This Week host George Stephanopoulos has been lobbying for the role.

Before Jennings takes on guest hosting duties, however, the show will pay tribute to Trebek with two weeks of his best episodes, airing on the weeks of December 21 and 28. The veteran host's last episode, meanwhile, will air on Friday, January 8, 2021.