Since the tragic passing of Alex Trebek in 2020, the long-running game show Jeopardy! has been cycling through a rotating cast of guest hosts. One of them was former show champion Ken Jennings, who put up an unbelievably long run on the show as a competitor, making a huge name for himself.
However, the show’s producers are reportedly close to settling on a permanent host to succeed Trebek’s 37-season run as the show’s presenter. And, truth be told, some fans aren’t happy about the pick.
The frontrunner to take the host spot is reportedly one of the show’s executive producers, Mike Richards. Indeed, Mike Richards’ episodes as a guest host pulled in a surprisingly large audience for the game show. However, one former guest host was even more successful: Ken Jennings.
To be fair to Richards, there are some extenuating factors that could have made Jennings’ appearance so popular. Jennings was the first guest host to take over for the show after Trebek’s episodes had aired. As a result, it’s possible the boost in ratings was out of curiosity for the show’s future after the passing of its longtime host.
Still, some fans have argued that Jennings deserves the host spot. After all, he did put up a record-setting 74-appearance winning streak, a feat that hasn’t even been approached by any other competitors.
Another guest host is a fan favorite who many would love to see return: LeVar Burton. Burton famously portrayed engineer Geordi LeForge on the excellent TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation and hosted the public access show Reading Rainbow. His gentle speaking voice and quick wit have made him a beloved figure in pop culture, and many fans wish he could stick around as the full-time host.
Richards, who is one of the show’s executive producers, has said that Trebek purposefully declined to comment on who he thought should succeed him on the show.
“He wanted to be very careful to not weigh in on that. Not that he didn’t care, because he cared at a very high level, [but] he knew how influential any suggestion he made would be, and he wanted us to come to it the way we wanted to, not because of what he wanted,” Richards told reporters.
No matter who takes over the mantle of the host, one thing is certain: fans will always miss Trebek’s unique voice and level delivery. He was a truly one-of-a-kind host.