This former Jeopardy! champion could once again have a shot at hosting the show after being initially passed over. Who is ... Ken Jennings?
Jeopardy! is resuming its search for a new host after its first pick, executive producer Mike Richards, stepped down amid controversy over past offensive remarks. So who might take his place? Former champion Ken Jennings has long been a fan favorite, and in his newsletter What I'm Hearing..., former Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni reports, "I'm told by two show insiders that it's now Jennings' job to lose."
Similarly, CNN's Brian Stelter reports that "most of the sources" he spoke with "said Ken Jennings is now the hands-down favorite," with one TV agent telling CNN, "They have to give it to him now, don't they?" Stelter also notes Jennings was "said to be a finalist the first time around."
Before The Ringer unearthed Richards' past offensive remarks, his hiring was already controversial due to past discrimination lawsuits he was involved in and the perception that he effectively gave himself the gig. Jennings previously told The Ringer after Richards was tapped that he was "disappointed with how this process played out, but I'd rather look ahead." He also told The New York Times that he "was not going to lobby for that job in the media" because "I am a company man." Prior to guest hosting for six weeks earlier this year, Jennings apologized for past "unartful" and "insensitive" tweets.
Former Jeopardy! champion Buzzy Cohen was also one of the "standouts" who had been "strongly considered," Variety reported earlier this month. The Los Angeles Times also wrote that Mayim Bialik, who was already hired to host Jeopardy! "primetime and spinoff series," could possibly be a contender for the main job, though TMZ previously reported she was thought to be too busy. According to CNN, the show will resume production with guest hosts on Monday.