New ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Admits They Should Not Have Replaced Alex Trebek

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Alex Trebek (left) with Ken Jennings (right) holding 'Jeopardy!' trophy

Credit: ABC

New Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings has admitted he shouldn’t have replaced the late host Alex Trebek.

'Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings asking the Final Jeopardy! clue
Credit: ABC

Since 1984, Alex Trebek has hosted the syndicated game show Jeopardy! However, that would all change when the beloved presenter of America’s leading game show sadly passed away at the end of 2020, just over a year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

At the time, Trebek was contracted as Jeopardy! host through 2022, and while the show had filmed episodes for the immediate future, the search was on for Trebek’s replacement.

alex trebek (left) with ken jennings (right) holding jeopardy trophy
Credit: ABC

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At first, members of the Jeopardy! family hosted the quiz, but by summer 2021, producers confirmed that The Big Bang Theory and Call Me Kat actress Mayim Bialik and former Jeopardy! champion, Ken Jennings, would share hosting duties for the latter end of Season 38 and then for the 39th season. This came after Mike Richards was fired from the show following a report about his previous controversial behavior.

During the years following Trebek’s death, the co-hosts — particularly Bialik — have continuously come under fire for their hosting style and apparent changes of rules mid-show.

Mayim Bialik holding Final Jeopardy card
Credit: ABC

Despite the fan backlash, and there has, of course, been support for both parties too, Bialik and Jennings also host other primetime specials for the beloved game show. Bialik hosts the Jeopardy! National College Championship as well as Celebrity Jeopardy!, while Jennings hosted the Jeopardy! Masters show, where James Holzhauer was recently crowned the winner.

Now, Ken Jennings has admitted that he shouldn’t have replaced Alex Trebek following the latter’s passing.

“If I were hiring for that job, I would go with a sturdy broadcaster with decades of experience, not just somebody who happened to be good at the show many years ago,” Jennings told Utah outlet Deseret News (via the New York Post). “But luckily, they took a chance on me.”

Jennings added that he has to “pinch [himself] every day and “not take it for granted.” The Jeopardy! host told Deseret News he was “100% confident [he] would not get a shot at the job because that would be insane.”

Mayim Bialik on 'Jeopardy!' set
Credit: ABC

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The show created by Merv Griffin has almost been running, in various incarnations, for 60 years. The syndicated version popular today is produced by Sony Pictures Television, with primetime specials — like Jeopardy Masters! — airing on The Walt Disney Company’s ABC network.

Fans have recently said that they have been spoiled by the Masters show, citing that the main program has lost quality. Earlier this month, viewers blasted one episode as one of the worst ever, leading to Jeopardy! executives to speak out on the matter. The issue surrounded the difficulty of the category clues in the Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy!, and Final Jeopardy! rounds. The episode produced the second-worst triple stumpers count in the game show’s history with 23, just one behind the record.

Are you happy that Ken Jennings took over from Alex Trebek as Jeopardy! host? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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