‘Jeopardy!’: Here’s Which Guest Hosts Were Seriously Considered to Replace Alex Trebek

by Leanne Stahulak

For clarification: No one could ever truly replace the beloved 37-year host, Alex Trebek. But after his death in November 2020, “Jeopardy!” finally found the people to fill the permanent host position.

Yup, you read it right — people, not person. The game show tapped executive producer Mike Richards to lead the daily syndicated game show. While during primetime specials, “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik will take the reins.

“Jeopardy!” just announced the news today, and fans have all kinds of takes on the new appointment. Some are ecstatic about the decision, others less so. But a big topic of conversation has been the 14 other guest hosts who were “robbed” of the position.

We already had a hint that Richards would snag the spot when Variety reported about him being in “advanced negotiations” earlier this week. This spurred lots of fans to cry out that LeVar Burton, Ken Jennings, or another of the guest hosts deserved to get the gig. Burton especially seemed to be a fan favorite, but one of his tweets last week indicated that he knew he’d lost his chance.

“I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won,” Burton wrote. “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.”

Jennings, who’s a well-known “Jeopardy!” icon after winning 74 matches in a row, seemed to be another front-runner for the job. Instead, The Hollywood Reporter says that he’ll return to the show as a consulting producer.

Other possible hosts included former “Jeopardy!” champ Buzzy Cohen, as well as David Faber, Savannah Guthrie, Sanjay Gupta, Anderson Cooper, Aaron Rodgers, Dr. Oz, Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and Joe Buck.

‘Jeopardy!’ Premiere Date Announced

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Richards’ first official episodes will air on Monday, Sept. 13. They start off exactly one month after guest host Joe Buck’s final day for Season 37 of “Jeopardy!”.

Production for Season 38’s new episodes begins during that one-month interim. In addition to hosting in front of the camera, Richards will continue to executive produce behind-the-scenes as well. He produces both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

Ravi Ahuja, chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures, released a statement about the promotion.

“We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America’s Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of Jeopardy!,” Ahuja said. “Mike is a unique talent, at ease behind the podium and a double threat as producer and host. Mayim has a wonderful energy, an innate sense of the game, and an authentic curiosity that naturally represents the Jeopardy! brand. We are excited to get to work with them both and are confident that they will carry on the legacy of this iconic show.”