APB Speaker Ken Jennings Named First Interim "Jeopardy!" Host
24 Nov 2020
"There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January." –Ken Jennings
Sony Pictures Television has announced that APB speaker and "Greatest of All Time" ("GOAT") Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings will be the show’s first interim host after the death of legendary host Alex Trebek. Long considered a favorite for the permanent role, Jennings has served as a consulting producer on the popular trivia game show since winning the G.O.A.T championship earlier this year. He will step up to the podium when Jeopardy! resumes production on November 30. New episodes hosted by Jennings will begin airing on January 11, 2021 as part of the iconic trivia show’s 37th season.
Ken Jennings is one of the winningest game show contestants of all time and the holder of the longest Jeopardy! winning streak of all time. He still holds those records today, including the longest winning streak (74 consecutive games), highest regular-season winnings ($2,520,700) and highest average correct responses (35.9) records in Jeopardy! history. Ken went on to further fame representing the human race in a 2011 Jeopardy! match against IBM’s Watson supercomputer. In 2019, he returned to the spotlight when Jeopardy! phenom James Holzhauer (who Ken describes as “as close to Watson as a human can get”) came within $60,000 of Ken’s winnings record before being eliminated. A year later, Jennings bested Holzhauer to be named "Greatest of All Time." Upon winning, the former software engineer turned best-selling author, paid homage to the game show that he has loved and watched since childhood. "It is a real honor to be associated with a show that nobody ever has a bad thing to say about — It encourages learning, it makes smart kids feel like it’s okay to be smart and that’s always the kind of kid I was," he said. "I could not be prouder that I’m associated with it."
Jeopardy! announced on Twitter that the show would resume "with a series of hosts from the Jeopardy! family." "By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers," said Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards in a statement.
Although Jennings is considered a fan favorite to succeed Trebek, other candidates rumored for the permanent role include Jenning’s long-time Jeopardy! rivals, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter, as well as newsmen Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopoulos.