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One of the greatest Jeopardy! players ever will take over as the game show’s host, at least for a short time.
Ken Jennings will be the interim host of the syndicated series when it resumes production Nov. 30. He’ll be the first in a series of guest hosts since the death of Alex Trebek on Nov. 8. The show is holding off on naming a full-time host for the time being; other guest hosts will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” said executive producer Mike Richards. “We will honor Alex’s legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers.”
Jennings won the primetime Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time tournament earlier this year, defeating James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter in the best-of-seven format. He also holds the show’s record for consecutive games won, at 74, and most winnings in regular play ($2,520,700).
Jennings’ first episodes as host will air the week of Jan. 11. Trebek’s last episodes of the show taped on Oct. 29 and will air the week of Jan. 4. Producer Sony Pictures TV opted to hold the host’s final shows until after the new year so that holiday pre-emptions on local stations wouldn’t deprive viewers of the chance to see his last episodes.
During the weeks of Dec. 21 and 28, Jeopardy! will instead air 10 of Trebek’s best episodes from his 36 years as host.
Jennings, meanwhile, will also be part of ABC’s primetime game show The Chase, which premieres Jan. 7. Along with Holzhauer and Rutter, he’ll square off against teams of trivia experts in the new series.
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