‘Jeopardy!’: Could Aaron Rodgers Return as Guest Host on ‘The Conners’ Mean He’s Replacing Alex Trebek?

by Suzanne Halliburton

Okay, we’re trying to read the Jeopardy! clues. Or in quiz show speak, we have the answers. But are we asking the right questions about Aaron Rodgers?

Rodgers is the (disgruntled) quarterback of the Green Bay Packers who may be looking for something to do this football season. He’s already guest hosted a two-week stint on Jeopardy!

And now, he’s playing himself as a Jeopardy! host on the comedy series The Conners. Is it just a Aaron Rodgers troll job on the Packers? Does the episode mean anything in the grand Jeopardy! scheme? Or, are we just so hyper focused on who is going to replace the late Alex Trebek that we’ll over analyze any detail? The Jeopardy! producers define the word mum.

So again, check out the tweet from The Conners. The show is touting big guest stars, including the great Candice Bergen and Brian Austin Green. We don’t think Murphy Brown or David Silver will be included in the rotation of Jeopardy! guest hosts, so that leaves only Aaron Rodgers. Jackie is on the quiz show, feeling the “obvious chemistry” with the NFL superstar. It’s the Jeopardy! set. Has Rodgers revisited the set or did The Conners shoot one of their May episodes much earlier this year when the quarterback was doing his stint on the game show?

CBS Ventures distributes Jeopardy!. But seven of ABC’s owned and operated stations carry the quiz show.

Here’s What We Do Know About Jeopardy! and Aaron Rodgers

Here’s what we do know.

Jeopardy! fans were receptive to a quarterback filling the shoes of Alex Trebek. Just follow the ratings. Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy! super champion, hosted the highest rated shows. He was the first host after Alex Trebek died last November. Jennings hosted for six straight weeks. He earned a rating of 6.1 for three of the six weeks. His low was a 5.8. Mike Richards, the Jeopardy! producer, was next in line. And his best rating was a 5.9.

The ratings slipped for four weeks, during the turns of Katie Couric and Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Then came Aaron Rodgers, whose two weeks in April were 5.6 and 5.5. The NFL draft was in late April. That’s when news broke that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. Meanwhile, CNN prime-time anchor Anderson Cooper took over the Jeopardy! dais. And the ratings dipped again. So, Rodgers ratings were likely not a fluke, although he didn’t approach Jennings or Richards’ range.

Rodgers Appears to be Kicking Tires on TV Career

Probably, Aaron Rodgers showing up on The Conners and Jeopardy! shows us the quarterback is preparing for life after football, whether that’s this fall or within the next few years. He’s 38. Rodgers and the Packers played in the NFL championship game earlier this year, losing to Tampa Bay 31-26. Every NFL quarterback wants to go out on top, so it’s unlikely Rodgers really wants to walk away from the game.

In early April, Rodgers and his fiancee, actress Shailene Woodley, conducted a Jeopardy! Q&A on Instagram Live. Keep in mind, this was before word leaked out that he wanted out of Green Bay.

“No, I’m not going to [quit football]. I just won MVP, I still have a lot left in the tank,” Rodgers said. “I’m still going to play, and I’d love to host Jeopardy! at the same time. Jeopardy! films five shows a day, 46 days a year. That’s 230 episodes. And I work for six months out of the year. So the other six months, I would have time to probably film 46 days I think.”

Journalist Bill Whitaker followed Cooper as guest host. His final week of Jeopardy! shows start Monday. Buzzy Cohen will host the Tournament of Champions. That airs May 18-27. Actress Mayim Bialik is set for May 31-June 11. Today show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie follows June 14-25. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a CNN medical correspondent, goes June 28-July 9.

Good Morning America co-hosts George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts take up the next junk of July. Actor LeVar Burton, a fan favorite, hosts shows that go July 26-30. Then, CNBC journalist David Faber and Fox football and baseball announcer Joe Buck have the final shows of the season.

And by then, Jeopardy! fans should have an answer.