In November of 2020, an era of television game show programming came to an end when Alex Trebek, longtime host of iconic syndicated game show “Jeopardy!” since 1984, passed away after a year and a half struggling against pancreatic cancer. Following his death, Sony Pictures Television pushed back the airing of Trebek’s last recorded “Jeopardy!” episodes, then announced that several guest personalities will take over hosting duties from January to February this year. The first announced guest host is veteran contestant and longest streak holder Ken Jennings, followed by TV personalities such as Katie Couric and Bill Whitaker. This past Tuesday, more names were announced.
USA Today has it that some new celebrity names were announced to briefly guest-host “Jeopardy!” for more episodes this year following the passing of legendary answer-giver Alex Trebek. They were revealed by executive producer Mike Richards on February 2, with the names being a “who’s who” of familiar faces on TV. Co-anchor Savannah Guthrie of “Today” on NBC is one guest host, followed by Dr. Mehmet Oz of his own syndicated show, then two personalities from CNN, namely anchor Anderson Cooper and chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. In addition to hosting unspecified episode numbers of “Jeopardy!” they will also contribute to their choice charities.
To wit, for the duration of each guest host’s time on “Jeopardy!” the cumulative winnings of all contestants participating within their respective tenures will be added up, with the total value being the amount of their donation to their charities. Richards says of the new guest hosts, “We look forward to each guest host bringing their unique abilities to the show and to our contestants winning a lot of money that we can match for charity.” He himself will take over hosting duties following Ken Jennings, before the other celebrities.
Other announced guests hosts for “Jeopardy!” include actress Mayim Bialik and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Jennings’ tenure as guest host will cover 30 episodes airing weekdays over a period of six weeks. He has also shot down ideas about becoming the permanent host.
Image courtesy of Variety