The lineup of new “Jeopardy!” hosts is so long, it could use a category of its own now.
Producers of the long-running game show announced Wednesday that Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, Bill Whitaker and Mayim Bialik will serve as guest hosts this season, replacing Alex Trebek, who died in November at age 80 of pancreatic cancer.
“Alex was a legend, revered by all of us,” executive producer Mike Richards said. “I want to thank our guest hosts, who will not only help all of us celebrate his great legacy, but also bring their own touch to the show.”
Ken Jennings, who holds the record for the longest “Jeopardy!” winning streak, served as the first host since Trebek’s death. Trebek’s last episode was filmed 10 days before he died and aired Friday, Jan. 8.
Richards himself will also serve as host for two weeks of shows once the episodes Jennings filmed run out so the guest hosts can “prepare for their appearances.”
In addition to screen time on the game show, guest hosts will also help raise funds for their favorite charities.
“As a part of each guest host’s appearance, a donation will be made to a charity of their choice,” said a press release. “The amount donated will equal the cumulative winnings of the contestants that compete during the weeks they serve as guest host.”
There will also be additional guest hosts announced later in the season, according to a press release.
A permanent replacement has not been formally announced for Trebek, who hosted the show for more than 8,200 episodes since 1984. However, Jennings has been rumored to be the frontrunner, amongst several other candidates including George Stephanopoulos. Jennings, 46, even went as far as apologizing for past “insensitive” tweets, which many believe was a strategy to clear his name. Trebek even reportedly made several suggestions of his own behind the scenes, though he was largely reticent about namedropping a potential successor.
“I spoke to him on the phone actually the weekend he passed and he was — he was frail but he was still very much Alex,” Jennings said on “Good Morning America.” “I remember him just being very confident in me to be a guest host if he ever needed that.”
Trebek also reminded him that “the host is not the star of ‘Jeopardy!’”