Alex Trebek’s final episode of “Jeopardy!” is set to air on Christmas Day, and while many people are still processing the 80-year-old host’s death, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos is pushing hard to take his job.
Back in May, Stephanopoulos told Howard Stern that he had interest in the “Jeopardy!” job, and reports are surfacing now that his reps are pushing hard for the role. Making a play for Trebek’s job just days after the iconic host’s death doesn’t seem like the best way to connect with the show’s fans, if he ultimately wants the job.
Stephanopoulos may not have ever had a chance at the hosting gig anyway, as the winningest “Jeopardy!” champ ever may be the leading candidate to replace Trebek. Ken Jennings rattled off 74 wins in a row and also won the show’s Greatest of All Time competition, bringing his “Jeopardy!” earnings to more than $4.3 million. The 46-year-old software engineer from Seattle was named a consulting producer and brand ambassador for the show in September, and many feel he is being groomed for the hosting gig.
Trebek died on Sunday following a battle with pancreatic cancer. During an interview on “Entertainment Tonight,” Mike Richards, executive producer of “Jeopardy!”, said that Trebek never expressed interest in naming his replacement. “He never mentioned names to us. He really wanted to be the host of the show, while he was the host of the show,” Richards explained. “So we didn’t say, ‘Hey, what about this person? What about that person?’ It was his show until he told us he was going to retire, and, amazingly, he never did. I think that’s a blessing.”