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In the category of TV Hosts, if the answer is, ‘Harder to replace than a Christmas light on a string,’ then the correct question would be, ‘Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek?’ In the two years since Trebek tragically passed away from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, producers of the long-running game show have had trouble filling his sensible black dress shoes. But now, producers say that they’re ready to announce not only Trebek’s permanent replacement “very soon,” but several additional hosts for other Jeopardy iterations.
The entertainment blog Decider spoke to Jeopardy executive producer Michael Davies backstage at the Daytime Emmys, where he told them,
“We hope to have a hosting announcement very, very soon. But with all of our plans for Jeopardy! — which is more Jeopardy!, not less, more versions —we’re going to need multiple hosts to represent the entire audience, to represent the entire country, in order to take this franchise forward.”
The search to replace Trebek involved a lengthy on-air audition process, which included guest turns from CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, sports broadcast legend Joe Buck, and current Pennsylvania Senatorial candidate and possible future Pennsylvania resident Dr. Mehmet Oz. After careful consideration, then-Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards landed on the perfect candidate: Jeopardy executive producer Mike Richards.
While Mike Richards’ favorite Mike Richards worked really well for his target audience, Mike Richards, unfortunate comments he made about Jews and women surfaced, and he was fired. The current rotating guest hosts have been actress/director/podcaster Mayim Bialik and former Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings. But this format has faced criticism from Jeopardy fans, who are guaranteed to be unhappy no matter who is chosen.
Jeopardy was first created by talk show host Merv Griffin in 1964 and was hosted by Art Fleming until 1979. Alex Trebek served as host from the show’s re-launch in syndication in 1984 until his untimely passing in 2022.