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Updated Odds to Be Next Host of Jeopardy! – Ken Jennings Remains Favorite

JJ De La Torre

by JJ De La Torre in Entertainment

Jan 8, 2021 · 9:51 AM PST

Ken Jennings, a cast member in the ABC television series "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time," poses at the 2020 ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, in Pasadena, Calif. Jennings won his third match in the “Jeopardy!” “Greatest of all Time,” contest televised on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, an event that's been a prime-time hit for ABC. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
  • Following long-time host Alex Trebek’s passing, Jeopardy! producers are still on the search for a permanent successor
  • Trebek’s final posthumous episodes have now aired, Ken Jennings and Katie Couric are temporarily filling in 
  • See the full odds on Jeopardy!‘s next host and best bets below

Since Alex Trebek’s November 8, 2020 passing, fans have not only been mourning the Jeopardy! host but also been wondering who will be his successor on the show.

Viewers tuned in to see pre-recorded episodes Trebek had recorded before his passing, and now temporary fill-ins including Ken Jennings and Katie Couric are filling the void. But with Trebek leaving big shoes to fill, producers are carefully deciding who will be the host permanently.

While Couric and Jennings’ guest spots may help inform the decision, there is still a slew of other potential options for show producers to choose from.

Odds to Be Next Host of Jeopardy!

Time Odds
Ken Jennings +250
Katie Couric +300
George Stephanopoulos +600
LeVar Burton +600
Mike Richards (Not Kramer) +700
Anderson Cooper +700
Steve Kornacki +1200
John Berman +1400
Mayim Bialik +1400
Neil deGrasse Tyson +1600
Alex Faust +2000
Laura Coates +2000
Ryan Seacrest +2000
Pat Sajak +2200
Jimmy Kimmel +2400
Neil Patrick Harris +2400
Tom Bergeron +2500
Trevor Noah +2800
Wolf Blitzer +3000
Drew Carey +3300
Jane Lynch +3300
Mina Kimes +4000
Chris Harrison +4500
Howie Mandel +5000
Jon Stewart +5000
Nick Cannon +5000
Piers Morgan +5000
Steve Harvey +5000
Al Michaels +6600
Erin Andrews +7000
Joe Rogan +7000
Rosie Perez +7000

Odds as of January 8th

Since odds opened on the Jeopardy! decision, Jennings was the favorite. This was even before he was chosen by producers to fill in temporarily.

Naturally, both the continued odds as well as the guest spot looked good for Jennings. But is he still the best bet? Jennings’ guest episodes begin airing on January 11. If they’re of high enough caliber, he may just have this gig in the bag.

Jennings, a fan favorite competitor in the Jeopardy! universe is no stranger to the show. Being comfortable and familiar on the set is going to pay off for him. If he can keep his charm and build rapport with contestants, things look good for the record-breaking champion.

Meanwhile, Couric is waiting in the wings getting herself prepped for her own week of guest-hosted episodes. She’s a bit greener to the Jeopardy! world, but her years of hosting various programs and doing interviews may make her an easy fit.

Ultimately, both Couric and Jennings’ weeks can be seen as auditions of types, and bringing their best game to the shoots will be to their advantage.

Hosts With The Most

Of course, Hollywood is a massive industry filled with a large roster of individuals clamoring for its best roles. The host of Jeopardy!, of course, is highly desired.

The odds for this race include some decent long shots in the forms of Neil Patrick Harris (+2400), Jimmy Kimmel (+2400), and Jon Stewart (+5000).

While a lot of the people on the list definitely have their own things going on– from talk shows to other game show gigs– the Jeopardy! job is appealing as it brings an essence of both notoriety and stability. After all, Trebek held the gig for a whopping 36 years.

It’s fun to picture someone like Rosie Perez or Trevor Noah hosting Jeopardy! It would be nice to bring a different angle on comedy and some diversity to the role. But ultimately, in the devastating wake of Alex Trebek’s passing, it’s much more likely to imagine producers going for a safe bet.

Even while Jeopardy! fans rapidly signed a petition to appoint former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton to the gig, even that passion may not be enough to dethrone Ken Jennings from the job many believe to rightly be his.

Given Jennings’ synonymity with the program and the fact that he’s been kept in mind for the gig even before he was booked for guest spots, he’s the easiest to picture tempting contestants for those Daily Doubles.

 Pick: Ken Jennings (+250)

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