Following the tragic passing of long-time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, the search for a replacement host has been ongoing for the past few months and will reportedly continue through the first few months of the year. Speaking in a new interview, series executive producer Mike Richards opened up about the search and their use of guest hosts on the series. Speaking with Deadline, Richards said: "We are going to take our time and talk to a lot of people, have some people guest host and see what our fans think as well." Among the first confirmed guest hosts for the series are Jeopardy! "GOAT" Ken Jennings and journalist/presenter Katie Couric.
"The search is going very well, there are a lot of people very interested in hosting Jeopardy!, which is gratifying, and also appropriately reverent of the shoes they will be stepping into. We have had some great conversations with people," Richards added. "We are going to take our time and talk to a lot of people, have some people guest host and see what our fans think as well."
The list of guest hosts is not only set to grow but will apparently include people that have no interest in the job and simply want to guest host as a means to pay tribute to Trebek.
"You will also see big-name people who are not going to be considered for the role but they just love the show, love Alex and wanted to pay tribute," Richards said. "So not everyone who comes on is auditioning. We are going to go in a lot of different directions, I don't think we want to be in a hurry to name a new person. We all are still mourning the loss — certainly I am — of Alex, and I think just turning around and naming someone would be irresponsible and not thoughtful, which is antithesis of Jeopardy!"
Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for over three decades, continuing to do so even after publicly announcing his cancer diagnosis in March of 2019. In the year and a half that followed, Trebek continued to update fans on his condition -- as well as the emotional struggles he felt while undergoing that journey. His final episodes as host for the series have been airing this week, with his last episode of Jeopardy! scheduled to premiere on Friday, January 8th. The last episode that Trebek filmed as the host of the series was shot on Thursday, October 29th. Trebek passed from pancreatic cancer on Sunday, November 8th.