‘Jeopardy!’: Bill Whitaker Wraps Up Guest-Hosting Stint, Who’s Next?

by Josh Lanier

60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker’s turn at the Jeopardy! podium is over. His last show was Friday. So, who will be the next celebrity to try their hand at guest hosting the game show?

Mayim Bialik, a neuroscientist and actress from shows such as The Big Bang Theory and Call Me Kat, will take over hosting duties starting May 31.

The wait is because the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions begins Monday. Fifteen of this season’s best players will face off for $250,000. The winner of the 2017 tournament, Buzzy Cohen will host the 10 episodes.

Bialik told The Daily Blast recently that hosting was “an absolute dream.” She recorded her episodes weeks ago.

“I mean that’s like a — that’s a dream job,” Bialik said. “And I have to say, my experience just – I did ten episodes – was an absolute dream. My brain really works the way that show works, meaning I’m constantly thinking about things, saying things. You have to be very quick on your feet and have someone in your ear being like, ‘Cut to commercial! Do this!’

“I loved it,” Bialik added. “I loved that pacing. So, I’m very excited for my episodes to air because I hope that people will appreciate the kind of host that I was. And, you know, really trying to do honor to Alex Trebek, as well.”

Trebek died last year to pancreatic cancer.

Jeopardy! will continue to use guest hosts through the summer. The remaining guest schedule is:

  • Savannah Guthrie, June 14-June 25
  • Sanjay Gupta: June 28-July 9
  • George Stephanopoulos: July 12-16
  • Robin Roberts: July 19-July 23
  • LeVar Burton: July 26-July 30
  • David Faber: Aug. 2-6
  • Joe Buck: Aug. 9-13

Ken Jennings, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and journalists Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper have also guest hosted.

‘Jeopardy!’ Producer Discusses Search for New Host

Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards, who guest-hosted the show earlier this year, recently discussed the show’s efforts to find a replacement for Alex Trebek.

“The process is going really well; we’ve gotten better” at adapting the show to the new hosts, Richards told the USA Today. “We had one guy that was beyond perfect at his job and did it for 37 years, so for us to shift from that to someone new every week or sometimes two new people in one week (of taping) was a challenge for us.”

Richards said he expects to select a host by late July. Until then, producers and Sony executives are keeping their options open. They’re watching the different hosts and listening to fan feedback, as well.

“We want to hear from our fans,” Richards said. “And I’m online every day looking at it and checking it out. But we’ve got to be careful about the 20,000 people or whatever that are screaming the loudest.

“We’re pretty astute in the way that we approach that,” Richards said. “What we’re going to look for is the best candidate for the show, and we’re not going to limit it to anyone based on anything. That would be the ‘Jeopardy!‘ way.”