“Jeopardy!” current guest host, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, says it is “a great honor and very moving” to be behind Alex Trebek’s famous podium. In short: he hopes he does “ok.”
Have faith, Anderson Cooper! Easily one of the most anticipated guest hosts to follow “All-Time Champ” Ken Jennings, Cooper seems a perfect fit for the “American Institution” that is “Jeopardy!”
Viewers will find out how he faired in filming his two weeks worth of episodes Monday night. April 19 marks the beginning of the celebrated journalist’s turn as host, and Cooper is, by his own words, still feeling the nerves.
“Tonight is the first night I guest host on Jeopardy! I rarely get nervous, but I definitely was the first moment I stood behind Alex Trebek’s podium,” he begins via his official Instagram Monday. “It was a great honor and very moving for me. I have watched @Jeopardy since I was in high school (back when I had brown hair.)”
“I am such a fan of the show and miss watching Alex, who was the perfect host, and conducted himself with such intelligence, humor and grace,” Cooper continues. “I will be on for the next two weeks, April 19-30th. I hope I do ok.”
Can Anderson Cooper Raise ‘Jeopardy!’ Ratings Back to Long-Held Standards?
Following Green Bay Packers star and “Celebrity Jeopardy!” champ Aaron Rodgers, “Jeopardy!” is relying on Cooper to bring viewership back to the show. While Rodgers did well in his stint, the show has been losing viewers ever since Ken Jennings‘ guest-hosting tenure ended early this year.
Outsider knows as well as the next “Jeopardy!”-crazed viewer that there’s never any replacing Alex Trebek. Honoring his legacy with the right person, though, is absolutely paramount.
Another celebrated journalist and intellectual icon, Katie Couric, wasn’t able to keep the show’s rating up following Ken’s stint. Then, the controversial presence of Dr. Mehmet Oz on the game show really took a toll.
Oz’s second week hosting alone dragged “Jeopardy!” from its typical, steady 6 million weekly viewers down to 4.9 million. It goes without saying, but this is a tremendous loss for such a short amount of time.
Moreover, Oz’s first week was +300,000 viewers, meaning thousands who tuned in (perhaps to give him a chance despite his controversial nature) didn’t find the Dr. to their liking.
As a result, EP Mike Richards is counting on Anderson Cooper to bring “Jeopardy!” back to its former glory. If this downward spiral continues, the long-time ratings darling may be looking at half the viewership it’s held for decades in a matter of weeks.
Outsider wishes Cooper all the best as his two weeks take their turn. Here’s to hoping we, and fellow viewers, enjoy his hosting style.