'Jeopardy!' Champion Jennings to Step in as First Interim Host

Ken Jennings holds the all-time record for most consecutive games won on 'Jeopardy!' and the highest winnings in regular-season play.
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Record-holding "Jeopardy!" winner Ken Jennings has been named the first interim guest host of the iconic game show, just weeks after the death of beloved host Alex Trebek.

Jennings, who holds the all-time record for most consecutive games won at 74 and the highest winnings in regular-season play at $2.52 million, will be the first interim guest host for the show, which is scheduled to resume production on Nov. 30.

A permanent replacement host for Trebek has yet to be named.

Trebek, who died earlier this month, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2019. Despite the diagnosis, he never missed a day of work, telling "CBS Sunday Morning" that "it wouldn't be right" for him to walk away from the show.

"We will honor Alex's legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues," said "Jeopardy!" executive producer Mike Richards in a statement. "By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers." 

"Jeopardy!" is still in its 37th season, and new episodes hosted by Jennings will air in January. Additional guest hosts will be announced in the weeks ahead, the show said.

The show said it will air 10 of Trebek's best episodes during the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28, and his final week of episodes starting Jan. 4.

The first week of guest-hosted shows will air the week of Jan. 11.

"There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January," Jennings said via Twitter.

"Jeopardy!" fans have been speculating for weeks about who will permanently replace Trebek, CBS News reported, and Jennings, "Reading Rainbow" host LeVar Burton and ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos have become some of the more popular picks.

Jeopardy is distributed by ViacomCBS  (VIACA) - Get Report. Shares were up slightly to $34.69 at last check.