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Ken Jennings Named Jeopardy! 's First Guest Host After Alex Trebek's Death

Mike Vulpo
·2 min read
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Jeopardy! is trying its best to move forward without Alex Trebek.

More than two weeks after the legendary TV host passed away, the show announced on Nov. 23 that production will resume after Thanksgiving on Nov. 30.

While a long-term replacement host has not been named at this time, E! News can confirm Jeopardy! will return to the studio with a series of interim guest hosts from within the Jeopardy! family beginning with Ken Jennings. The winner of Jeopardy!'s Greatest of All Time currently holds the all-time record for most consecutive games won.

"Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him," executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement. "We will honor Alex's legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues."

His statement continued, "By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers."

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In memory of Alex, the show also announced that it will air 10 of his best episodes the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28, 2020. And because of the holidays, Alex's last week of episodes will be held until the week of Jan. 4, 2021 "in order to give his millions of fans a chance to see his final appearances." Ken will temporarily take over as a guest host the week of Jan. 11, 2021.

Alex Trebeck, James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time
Alex Trebeck, James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time

Back on Nov. 8, news broke that Alex had passed away at the age of 80 after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year. In a statement to E! News, producers said Alex's last day in the studio was on Oct. 29, a little more than a week before he died.

"He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years," the show's executive producer previously shared. "Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever."

On Nov. 11, Alex's wife of 30 years Jean Trebek spoke out on social media with a message of gratitude.

"My family and I sincerely thank you all for your compassionate messages and generosity," she wrote with a photo from their wedding day. "Your expressions have truly touched our hearts. Thank you so very, very much."