People are beginning to get antsy waiting for the announcement of the next full-time host of the popular trivia show, “Jeopardy!”
While the show has been cycling through exciting guest hosts this season, there’s only so long the inevitable can be put off. Someone will need to stand in for the late “Jeopardy!” icon Alex Trebek on a more permanent basis.
Trebek hosted the show for 37 years before he passed away tragically after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
While there’s no replacing the humor, wit, and individuality of the host, “Jeopardy!” wants to find someone who will once again set the show up for success. So, what is it they’re looking for exactly?
Selecting a Permanent ‘Jeopardy!’ Host
The people behind the scenes of the show have been considering who this next person should be. Mike Richards, the executive producer and one of the former guest hosts, said on The Wall Street Journal’s Podcast “The Journal,” that a decision will come soon. In fact, the producers are looking to select a full-time host before the next season of “Jeopardy!” starts taping in late July or early August.
It may seem like quite the delay, but it’s all for a good reason. A part of which was just to give people room to grieve before slapping in a new host.
“We started talking about it internally that to name someone right away would be very hard for us because we were still reeling from the loss [of Alex Trebek]. [For] the ‘Jeopardy!’ family — which is the fans, the country, the staff — that if on Friday it’s Alex’s last show and then Monday it’s a new person’s show, that would probably be unfair to the person stepping in to do it,” Richards said.
The show is bringing in focus groups as well as testing social media to get a sense of the person people want behind that podium.
“You want to make an informed decision. We want to go at this with real analytics and real testing and not just go, ‘Hey, how about this guy?’ which is kind of how a lot of these decisions have been made historically,” Richards said.
“Jeopardy!” wants to make sure this individual is going to appeal to a lot of viewers. While they may not be on the show for 37 years, the hope is it will be a long-term gig.
Future Guest Hosts, Possible Permanent Host
Richards has been very clear that there is not currently a leading contender for who will get the coveted hosting position.
In fact, there are still some guest hosts that are lined up for their turn on the show. Viewers have already seen Ken Jennings, Mike Richards, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, Bill Whitaker, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Aaron Rodgers.
In the future will be Buzzy Cohen, Mayim Bialik, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber, and Joe Buck. There’s also a possibility that many of the guest hosts are not interested in a full-time gig with the show. Some have expressed interest, others may just be there to help fill in for the time being.
Many are speculating about Aaron Rodgers and the future of his career. There are rumors he will not be returning to the Green Bay Packers due to internal issues. Some fans are curious if any of it can be related to “Jeopardy!” although it does not appear to be connected.
Richards has said he thinks it will be one of the guest hosts that will take over the position, not another stranger. Many fans are excited for some of the future hosts. One of which is LeVar Burton, who worked tirelessly to get his gig on the show and fans believe may be a perfect fit. He has also stated interest in being with the show on a long-term basis. With filming for the next season beginning in just a few months, fans are expecting that announcement sometime soon.