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'Jeopardy!' Executive Producer Responds to Predictions on Ken Jennings Replacing Alex Trebek

Jaimie-lee Prince
Sep 18, 2020
01:00 A.M.
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As "Jeopardy!" returns to television, the show's executive producer addressed theories about who might follow after longstanding host, Alex Trebek, takes his leave. Trebek, however, is still going strong. 


On Monday, "Jeopardy!" fans were finally treated to the show's return following a months-long suspension due to the COVID-19 crisis. Safety procedures were put in place to make it happen. 

According to the Ringer, host Alex Trebek was restless throughout the summer as he awaited a return to work despite currently battling pancreatic cancer. His illness has led many to wonder about the future. 

Ken Jennings competes on "Jeopardy" in December of 2004 | Photo: Getty Images



This season of "Jeopardy!" there will be a new consulting producer on board. Ken Jennings, a former contestant and the record-holder of longest wins at 74, has found himself behind the scenes of his favorite show. 

Jennings told Good Morning America that he has a "unique perspective" from his 35-year run with the show as both a fan and a participant. Still, Jennings has never seen the show like this. 

Alex Trebek speaks before taping "Jeopardy" in Washington, DC on April 21, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images



However, some people have suggested that Jennings will be more than that in the future. Executive producer Mike Richards dismissed such theories as not only wrong but inappropriate. He said

"We're not shopping. [Alex Trebek] is our guy, and he's our guy till he tells us he's not our guy, and then we can have a different conversation. I just don't think it's appropriate to have that conversation [...]."

Alex Trebek visits "Good Morning America" to speak to Robin Roberts on May 1, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images


Richards stated that until Trebek talks about possible retirement, he does not think anyone else should. Furthermore, Jennings will not be in the studio every day — not now, nor when the pandemic effects are over. 


According to TV Insider, Jennings will be contributing his own category presentation to the show. He will appear in some of the video categories and develop new projects. 

Jennings will further do his part to find new contestants behind the scenes and to be a show ambassador for "Jeopardy!" Jennings is thrilled to have the new role after winning over $2 million as a contestant. 


Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings attends a press conference for "Jeopardy!" in Yorktown Heights, New York on January 13, 2011 | Photo: Getty Images


He told Good Morning America that he has a "unique perspective" from his 35-year run with the show as both a fan and a participant. Still, Jennings has never seen the show like this. 


The new studio setup sees contestants with their own booths separated from each other. There will be no audience save staff members and crew, and the Clue Crew is out. 

Alex Trebek attends the screening of "Wuthering Heights" in Hollywood, California on April 13, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images



One welcome constant on the show is Trebek, who continues to push through amid his health struggles. Last month, Trebek's wife, Jean, talked about recognizing the early signs of her husband's illness. 

The brunette beauty recalled the night her and Trebek went out for dinner in Israel. She noticed her husband's skin color was off and asked him if he were alright. 

Alex Trebek attends Harry Friedman's Hollywood Walk of Fame star honoring in California on November 1, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images

Trebek said he was fine, but admitted he had stomach pain. Later on, Jean again thought Trebek's complexion was weird. The pair went to a doctor to do some tests, and a cancer diagnosis came soon after.


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