Since Alex Trebek, the beloved longtime host of “Jeopardy!” passed away, there have been countless entertaining guest hosts appearing on the trivia show.
From Katie Couric to Aaron Rodgers to LeVar Burton to Ken Jennings, the personalities were diverse on the “Jeopardy!” stage.
Mike Richards as Host
The plan has always been to finish this season with guest hosts instead of immediately selecting a full-time person for the job. It gave the show’s creators plenty of time to really make a strong and researched decision. It’s not something anyone seems to be taking lightly, including fans.
According to Variety, the executive producer of the show and one of the guest hosts, Mike Richards, is finalizing a deal to succeed Alex Trebek and to take over the podium on a long-term basis. Nothing has been confirmed just yet, but the source said that he was approached with a deal a couple of weeks ago. Now it is entering into final advanced negotiations. Sony Pictures Television will make an announcement in the next few days with the news.
The Sony Pictures spokesperson also said that there were discussions ongoing with other potential candidates. It’s possible that the two sides won’t reach a deal or that another candidate will pull ahead during negotiations. All we know now is that Richards is the front-runner.
Top ‘Jeopardy!’ Guest Host Contenders
Amongst other top contenders were Mayim Bialik and Buzzy Cohen. While the show had plenty of popular guest hosts, there were some that fans adored more than others. Who were they, exactly?
A OnePoll survey suggests that fans think “Jeopardy!” icon Ken Jennings is the best person to take on the throne. There is currently 23% of fans that believe the former record-setting contestant should take over as the host.
For those who don’t remember Jennings, he is considered quite the “Jeopardy!” trailblazer. He has the record for the longest winning streak of 74 consecutive wins from when he was on in 2004. He earned over $4 million during his time on the show.
Mike Richards was also a favorite with a total of 14% of the votes. LeVar Burton, who recently finished his hosting gig, was one of the most highly anticipated by fans at home. It was an online petition that helped get him to the studio stage, to begin with, meaning he must have a pretty strong backing with fans. He had 10% of this vote.
“I’ve gone out on a limb and actually put it out there that I want that job, because I do think it’s a logical and natural progression for me. We’ll see if Sony Pictures Entertainment feels the same way,” LeVar Burton said to GQ.
According to New York Post, the poll only reached about 1,003 Americans throughout the country in July. This means that it may not necessarily be the most accurate representation of what each viewer wants.
Selecting a new host is no easy task. It involves a lot more than popularity, it’s also a game of analytics and analysis.
The news of Richards as host has mixed reactions, which is always to be expected. Some fans consider it an “underwhelming” or “safe” choice. Melanie McFarland, a TV critic with Salon, shared an interesting Twitter thread on the selection of Richards as host.