It’s been six months since Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80 after hosting the show for a record-breaking 37 seasons. Since the longtime host’s final Jeopardy! episode aired on January 8, the TV show has been hosted by a string of guest hosts — from record-setting former champion Ken Jennings to CNN host Anderson Cooper.
But the months of searching for a new host may be coming to a close. In The Wall Street Journal’s podcast, “The Journal”, executive producer Mike Richards revealed that the show will have chosen its next official host by the start of season 38, which begins filming in late July or early August this year.
The Search for the New Host of Jeopardy!
During the podcast, Richards explained the reason behind the delay in hiring a new official host after Trebek’s death.
“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],” Richards said “[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.”
As of now, no one — not even Richards — knows who the new game show host will be.
“It’s going to come down to the heads of Sony [Entertainment’ to make that decision, ultimately, and it’ll come down to testing,” Richards told The Journal. “They’ve been a part of it. They know what’s going on in the studio. They’re watching the feed, the tapings. It’s very extensive. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of, as far as testing in its size and scope.”
He added, “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.”
In their search for a new permanent host, the network has brought on guest hosts from Hollywood, sports, broadcasting, and beyond. Richards said that the network is watching to see how fans respond to the different candidates.
“I think there’s different ways fan response can play into it,” he said. “What we are working on, as far as really understanding what the fans are saying and who’s saying it, is very important.”
Who has Hosted Jeopardy! So Far?
Before the season ends, the quiz show will have had more than a dozen guest hosts behind the lectern, each hosting for a two-week stint. We’ve included the full list of previous and upcoming guest hosts, plus the dates they will be guest hosting below.
- Ken Jennings – former “Greatest of all Time” Jeopardy contestant of all time (Jan. 4 – Feb. 19)
- Mike Richards – executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune (Feb. 22 – March 5)
- Katie Couric – Journalist and author (March 8 – March 19)
- Dr. Mehmet Oz – Talk show host, doctor, and 10-time Daytime Emmy Award winner (March 22- April 2)
- Aaron Rodgers – NFL Greenbay Packers quarterback and former Celebrity Jeopardy! champ (April 5 – April 16)
- Anderson Cooper – CNN news anchor (April 19 – April 30)
- Bill Whitaker- CBS 60 Minutes correspondent (May 3 – May 14)
- Buzzy Cohen – former Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner (May 17 – May 28)
- Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory actress (May 31 – June 11)
- Savannah Guthrie – Today co-anchor and chief legal correspondent for NBC News. (June 14 – June 25)
- Dr. Sanjay Gupta – CNN chief medical correspondent (June 28 – July 9)
- George Stephanopoulos – ABC’s Good Morning America co-anchor (July 12 – July 16)
- Robin Roberts – Good Morning America co-anchor (July 19 – July 23)
- LeVar Burton – Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and Reading Rainbow host (July 26 – July 30)
- David Faber – Squawk on the Street co-host (Aug. 2 – Aug. 6)
- Joe Buck – Fox sportscaster (Aug. 9 – Aug. 13)