Jeopardy! has been a tentpole of American television. The series’ unique answer format and unforgettable theme song are among the most recognizable facets of game shows.
Throughout the years, we have seen many contestants come and go.
In its 37-season run, there have been historic champions, student tournaments, and celebrity charity episodes.
The show always welcomes new faces. However, the one face fans of the show are always accustomed to seeing is the legendary host, Alex Trebek.
In his tenure, Trebek hosted more than 8000 episodes. Unfortunately, his recent death was a blow to all Jeopardy! fans.
Yet, to honor his legacy, the show must go on. As the show searches for a new leader, they have had a series of guests take a stab at hosting duties.
This video will take a look at the different guest hosts and their Nielsen rankings.
Keep watching as we take a look at which hosts are lined up for the future.
Dr. Mehmet Oz was the fourth guest host for the game show.
He is a cardiothoracic surgeon who has developed into a television personality. He was a regular guest on the Oprah Winfrey show speaking on health and wellness. Ultimately, his segment spun off into a show of its own.
Since 2009, The Show has been a daytime television series where the titular host gives medical advice.
Dr. Oz was the first guest for Jeopardy to have experience hosting a show. To that point, he seemed very comfortable on screen. However, selecting him to host jeopardy was met with some controversy.
Oz has been criticized in the past for some outlandish claims and controversial medical recommendations. Some fans even called for a boycott of the show when Dr. Oz’s guest stint was announced.
To his credit, however, Oz is using the show as a way to raise money for his charity.
The controversy could have played a role in Dr. Oz having the lowest Nielsen ratings of all the guests. In his two weeks run from March 22nd – April 2nd, Dr. Oz averaged a 5.1 Nielsen rating.
While no host is going to please all the fans, it’s clear Jeopardy is going to have a tough decision to make for future hosts.
Katie Couric was the first guest to come from outside of the show’s universe. Though she was the third person on the podium after Trebek, the first two judges played a previous role in the show.
As a television journalist, Katie Couric is no stranger to being on air. In her career, she has racked up credits as a part of CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, and Today.
Couric had great timing for her stint as host. As the first woman to host Jeopardy, her premier happened on international women’s day.
Katie Couric’s two-week stint as the host was met with mixed reactions. Some called her easily the best yet. Alternatively, many fans agreed the show should stick with one of the previous hosts.
Like Dr. Oz, Couric is using the platform to raise money for charity. Jeopardy will match the winnings of the contestants and donate them to her organization Stand Up to Cancer.
As far as ratings go, Couric ranked in 4th place. From March 8th- March 19th, she averaged a 5.5 Nielsen rating.
Although she claimed the guest-hosting gig was great fun, Katie Couric pulled her name from contention as the show’s permanent host.
She claimed the hosting duties are rigorous to prepare for and don’t provide much flexibility. While we won’t be seeing her long term. It was unique watching the famed news pundit reveal the Jeopardy clues.
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Aaron Rodgers, the MVP quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, is perhaps the strangest choice to host the game show.
However, the NFL star is a long-time fan of the show and a previously winning contestant. Rodgers has not kept it a secret that he wants to be the permanent host of the series.
To his credit, Rogers impressed all the right people. Mike Richards the producer of jeopardy and guest host in his own right, dazzled by Rodgers’ performance.
Richards claimed the Superbowl-winning QB prepared for the show in the same way he would get ready for a football game. He watched hours of tape and took notes on every aspect of the show. Richards said Aaron Rodgers “so prepared it was unbelievable”
Throughout Rodgers’ two-week stint hosting the show, his showmanship improved every night.
He was certainly impressive, and the fans seemed to agree. Between April 5th through the 16th, Rodgers took third place in the rankings with a 5.6 Nielsen score.
Many crew members believe Rodgers was the best host so far. Mike Richards suggested that if Aaron Rodgers gets the job, his second career could be more memorable than his first as a football player.
Since we were just speaking of Mike Richards, the producer of Jeopardy, it’s a good time to take a look at his run as the guest host.
Richards has spent most of his career behind the scenes of television. Throughout his years, he has played a role in shows like The Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy.
In that time, he has racked up 17 Emmy nominations.
Though Richards is a pro behind the scenes, working in front of the camera is a whole other monster.
As the second guest host, Richards claimed he did not have much time to prepare for the gig. He revealed that he only had three days’ notice to host. Beyond mastering the hosting duties, Richards also had to scramble around to get a wardrobe together for the two-week gig.
However, despite the short notice, Richards was terrific as the guest host. It seems his time working as a producer on the show helped him.
Many fans believe Richards was the best to date. The ratings also shows his popularity. From February 22nd through March 5th, Richards posted the second-highest ratings. His average Nielsen numbers were a 5.9.
It makes sense for Jeopardy’s greatest champion of all time to also be the first guest host selected for the show.
Ken Jennings holds the longest win streak of all time on the show with 74 wins. Furthermore, Jennings was recently crowned the Jeopardy GOAT when he beat James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter in a tournament of champions.
As a contestant, Jennings has won more than 4.5 million dollars on the show.
Needless to say, Jennings has a pretty good idea of how the show works. He used some of this knowledge and his long-time friendship with Alex Trebek and channeled it into his hosting duties.
His stint of guest hosting was a smashing success. Fans claimed he had the wit, intelligence, and charm to do justice to the show. As such, Jennings holds the highest rating so far of any guest host. In his two-week run, he averaged a 6 on the Nielsen rankings.
Jennings said, “sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life.”
If you were a fan of his hosting duties, there is good news. Jennings filmed 30 episodes of the show so we will be seeing him again even if he doesn’t get the full-time job.
Current and Upcoming Hosts
It looks like the guest carousel is going to continue for a little while before a full-time host is determined.
Taking over for Aaron Rodgers is CNN news host and 60 Minutes correspondent, Anderson Cooper. Like Rodgers, Cooper is a longtime fan of the series. He has even won the show twice as a celebrity guest.
Cooper is calling the hosting duty a dream come true. At the time of this video, Anderson is still going as a guest host. However, the reactions to him have been extremely positive so far.
Next, Jeopardy has scheduled Cooper’s colleague from 60 minutes, Bill Whittaker.
Following Whitaker will be Big Bang Theory actress and neuroscientist, Mayim Bialik.
However, the producers aren’t just selecting the hosts behind closed doors. It seems like they are also listening to the fans.
After a petition for LaVar Burton to host the show reached 250 thousand signatures, Jeopardy booked him.
Burton is an actor known for his tenure on Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The Reading Rainbow. Burton suggested he would love to host the show and he looks forward to making the fans proud.
Joe Buck, Buzzy Cohen, Savanna Guthrie, and several others are already lined up to guest host the show as well.
Although we lost perhaps the greatest game show host of all-time in Alex Trebek, it’s reassuring Jeopardy! will continue. They have had some great ideas for guest hosts so far. As it stands, Ken Jennings is the man to beat in ratings. We are looking to see who fills out the episodes as the show continues.
So, Jeopardy fans, what did you think? Who do you believe was the best guest host on the series so far? Who would you like to see take a crack at hosting Jeopardy? Sound off in the comments below.
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