For close to a year, Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik have shared hosting duties for the iconic game show Jeopardy! while producers choose Alex Trebek‘s permanent replacement. And though Mayim Bialik has her share of supporters, it became clear rather quickly that fans preferred to see Ken Jennings behind the hosting lectern.
So much so, in fact, that when Mayim Bialik is hosting the show, it’s not uncommon to see fans flood social media with complaints and demands for Jennings’ return. With that in mind, you can imagine how well the news of Ken Jennings‘ temporary departure from the series was received. Not well at all.
In early May, Jennings announced that he would be leaving for a “few months,” giving no further explanation. Fans expressed such horror at the news that you would think he had just announced the show was being canceled altogether. Jeopardy! fans are, after all, a remarkably passionate bunch.
For eight straight weeks, Jeopardy! fans went without their beloved host, growing increasingly impatient for his return all the while. So when Ken Jennings finally reappeared on the stage on Monday, the entire fanbase broke into a raucous celebration.
“So refreshing to have a host who actually listens to the contestant’s story and responds genuinely,” one fan wrote. “For whatever it’s worth, I feel [the] lightning-fast and funny Ken Jennings is an unbeatable host of Jeopardy!,” another said.
#Jeopardy is so much better with Ken Jennings!!! So happy to see him tonight. It’s such a better show with him at the helm. Flows better and with a much better rhythm. Welcome back Ken!!!!— Tina Thomas (@mstinabina) July 18, 2022
Who Will Be the Permanent Host of ‘Jeopardy!’?
The dual-hosting era of Jeopardy! is set to end with Season 38. However, Season 38 is rapidly coming to a close with no news in sight. The current season will end on July 31st and both the crew and hosts remain tight-lipped regarding the coming announcement.
Late last month, executive producer Michael Davies shared yet another tantalizing hint while giving nothing away. “We hope to have a hosting announcement very, very soon,” he said at the Daytime Emmy Awards.
“But with all of our plans for Jeopardy! — which is more Jeopardy!, not less, more versions — we’re going to need multiple hosts to represent the entire audience. To represent the entire country, in order to take this franchise forward.”
The EP praised both Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings for their “incredible” jobs behind the lectern. Fans, however, remain vehemently opposed to the lack of consistency. As the dual-hosting era approaches the finish line, they’ve collected any scrap of information that could be considered a clue in the right direction.
Fans have pointed to everything from profile pictures to television schedules to the series’ Emmy Award announcement. Through their sleuthing, they came to the conclusion that Ken Jennings is the clear choice for Jeopardy! host of Season 39 and beyond. Only time will tell, however, whether or not their conclusion is the correct one.