Variety began ranking “Jeopardy’s” guest hosts in June, as anticipation was building about the eventual successor to Alex Trebek, who commanded the role for nearly 37 years until his death last November. Sony Pictures Television delivered its verdict Aug. 11 as the initial process was winding down, and it was a split decision — giving the daily syndicated show to executive producer Mike Richards, and announcing new planned specials to be hosted by actor Mayim Bialik.
But that decision did not hold: Mike Richards stepped down from the position on Aug. 20 after an ongoing controversy involving allegations of workplace harassment as well as off-color use of slurs on a past podcast, meaning that the rotation of guest hosts will continue.
Savannah Guthrie, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric and LeVar Burton were among the other notables that stood behind the podium as guest hosts; “Jeopardy” winner Ken Jennings was the first guest host following Trebek’s death, and Joe Buck finished the guest host rotation the week of Aug. 9.
Some of these guests were unlikely to get the job due to other professional responsibilities, and while some fans were discontented with the final decisions, the fill-in process was overall an interesting experiment, providing continuity with what Trebek did well while also allowing new talent to lend their own personalities to the proceedings. Overall, it was a successful way to keep eyes on the show and to figure out what lies ahead for it. As it continues in the post-Richards era, the deep pool of potential Trebek replacements suggests just how many people may be waiting in the wings for a shot someday in the future.
What remains to be seen is how Richards (and, in a more limited capacity, Bialik) do with the show. But their time as fill-in hosts suggests what talents they bring to bear on the show — and the deep pool of potential Trebek replacements suggests just how many people may be waiting in the wings for a shot someday in the future.
Here is our rating of the guest hosts, from worst to best.