Two weeks after the death of the beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, the game show announced Monday that it was not ready to commit to a new quizmaster just yet.
The show said that “Jeopardy!” would start taping new episodes later this month but would employ a series of short-term hosts, starting with Ken Jennings, the record-breaking contestant who won the show’s “Greatest of All Time” tournament earlier this year.
Jennings wrote on Twitter that “there will only ever be one Alex Trebek” but that he was honored to be helping out the program.
Trebek, who had hosted the show since 1984, died on Nov. 8 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He had been in the studio just 10 days before his death, and the show said at the time that episodes with him as host would air through Dec. 25. Because of expected television pre-emptions during Christmas and New Year’s, the show has shifted Trebek’s final episodes to the week of Jan. 4.
During the last two weeks of December, “Jeopardy!” plans to broadcast 10 of Trebek’s “best episodes.” Then, on Jan. 11, they will air the first batch of new episodes featuring guest hosts.
For months there has been speculation among fans that Jennings could be the choice to replace Trebek. That speculation was bolstered by the announcement that he would be a consulting producer on the most recent season, but the show has not commented on any of its internal deliberations.
There is no question that Trebek — who had hosted more than 8,200 episodes — will be a difficult host to replace. For “Jeopardy!” fans of a certain age, they never witnessed any other host, and Trebek had become a game show legend because of his calm, dependable style.