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Jeopardy! will start filming new episodes with Ken Jennings as interim host

‘Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him’

ken jennings gasps between james and brad during the jeopardy! greatest of all time tournament
Ken Jennings (middle) playing Jeopardy! during the Greatest of All Time tournament, between fellow contestants James Holzhauer (left) and Brad Rutter.
Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Jeopardy! will begin filming again on Nov. 30 following the death of beloved host Alex Trebek, with “a series of interim guest hosts from within the Jeopardy! family” at the helm, the quiz show’s production team announced Monday.

The producers said they are not naming a permanent replacement for Trebek at this time. Instead, the 37th season of Jeopardy! will resume with Ken Jennings, champion of the series’ Greatest of All Time tournament, as its first guest host; additional ones will be announced in the future. In a subsequent tweet, Jennings acknowledged Trebek’s legacy, saying, “There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I’m honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January.”

Trebek, who had hosted Jeopardy! since 1984, died earlier this month at age 80 after receiving treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed with cancer in March 2019, and continued filming Jeopardy! throughout his treatment.

“Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him,” Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards said in a news release. “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.”

Trebek’s final filmed episodes are currently airing, and the last one was set to debut on Christmas Day. However, the Jeopardy! team has pushed them back due to anticipated holiday preemptions: Trebek’s last week of episodes will now air during the week of Jan. 4, 2021. In the meantime, 10 of what the producers described as Trebek’s “best episodes” will be broadcast in his memory during the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28. The guest-hosted shows will begin airing on Jan. 11, leaving no gap between Trebek and Jennings.