Record-breaking “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings will be one of the multiple guest hosts to fill in on an interim basis following the death of long-time host Alex Trebek beginning Jan. 11.
Three weeks after Alex Trebek’s death, Jeopardy! is set to resume production.
On Monday, the game show announced that it will begin filming again on Monday, Nov. 30, when Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings will take on the role as a guest host. In addition to Jennings, other members of the Jeopardy! family will also host the show.
“We will resume production on 11/30 with a series of interim guest hosts from the Jeopardy! family – starting with Ken Jennings. Additional guest hosts to be announced,” the show tweeted.
Following the announcement, Jennings, 46, said that he feels “honored” to take on the position. “There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I’m honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January,” he wrote on Twitter.
In remembrance and celebration of Trebek’s life, the show also announced that it “will air 10 of his best episodes” the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28 and will “air his final week of episodes” beginning Jan. 4.
Said Executive Producer Mike Richards: “Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him. 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.”
We will resume production on 11/30 with a series of interim guest hosts from the Jeopardy! family – starting with Ken Jennings. Additional guest hosts to be announced. pic.twitter.com/0MdGqnzp3R
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 23, 2020
As we remember and celebrate the life of Alex Trebek, we will air 10 of his best episodes the weeks of 12/21 and 12/28, and air his final week of episodes starting 1/4. https://t.co/HQaNewWa9U pic.twitter.com/aYPUOEuEwF
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 23, 2020
There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January. https://t.co/2m2b5IQnkw
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 23, 2020
In September, it was announced that Jennings had joined the competition series as a consulting producer. “I feel like I have a unique perspective on Jeopardy! having been a fan of the show for over 35 years now,” he told Good Morning America. “It was a huge part of my life growing up and then for the last 15 years seeing the show as a contestant.”
The Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time winner and 74-time champion explained that his extensive Jeopardy! experience makes him a valuable asset to the show. “I’ve played 100 games of Jeopardy! and I think that’s more than anybody else on earth and I probably know as much or think as much about Jeopardy! as anybody in the world who is not on payroll, so I’m happy to be on the team.”
As for what exactly he would be doing, Jennings told GMA: “You’ll see me regularly on the show, presenting video categories and collaborating with the tries on clues.”
After going on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, production on Jeopardy! resumed over the summer. The game show returned for its 37th season in September, with Trebek as host. New episodes featuring Trebek will continue to air through Christmas Day, Sony Pictures Television announced.
On Nov. 8, eight days after hosting his final episode of Jeopardy!, which will air on Dec. 25, Trebek died at home at age 80, surrounded by his beloved family and a small gathering of friends. His death came nearly two years after he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in March 2019.
According to the late Jeopardy! host’s death certificate, which was obtained by The Blast, Trebek was cremated, and his wife of 30 years, Jean, was able to take his ashes home. His final resting place is listed on the certificate as their Studio City, California, home.
Days after her husband’s death, Jean shared a short message to fans, thanking them for their support during this difficult time. “My family and I sincerely thank you all for your compassionate messages and generosity,” she wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of the couple on their wedding day.
“Your expressions have truly touched our hearts. Thank you so very, very much,” she continued. “Many Blessings to all, Jean Trebek.”
In a Jeopardy! segment that aired last week and was filmed prior to his death, Trebek helped raise awareness about pancreatic cancer.
“Before we get into today’s match, a word about today. Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and if you or anyone you know has developed some of the symptoms that I have talked about in the past then by all means, get to a doctor, get yourself tested,” Trebek said in the segment, which aired on Thursday, according to Entertainment Tonight. “I want you to be safe. This is a terrible, terrible disease.”
There’s no replacement for Alex Trebek, but it’s good to see the show paying tribute to him.