Jeopardy! host chaos: Was Ken Jennings planned to be initial pick?

Ken JenningsWe’re now a solid week into the latest round of Jeopardy! host drama and, at the time of this writing, not a lot else is clear as to what the future will hold.

Here’s what we can say for now: The show returns with new episodes on September 13 and the first week will be hosted by Mike Richards. That is, of course, during that brief period where he was named the full-time host, prior to him later resigning. Since that time, it has been announced that Mayim Bialik will be hosting shows for the three weeks that follow, but her Call Me Kat commitments keep her from doing the job full-time.

Alas, at this point it’s not clear what the thinking is of Sony executives, though the more that comes out, the clearer it is that Ken Jennings may have been their initial choice. In a new report at The Wall Street Journal, sources note that Jennings was considered the “ideal” candidate to replace the late Alex Trebek as host. He is familiar with the brand, already has a role on the program, and the belief was that he would “grow into the job” over time as he had more experience as a host. By and large his hosting stint was met with positive reviews, and he generated some of the best ratings of the past year.

However, sentiments behind the scenes reportedly changed in light of insensitive tweets from Jennings’ past, which he later apologized for. This change of heart is what led to Richards gaining traction as a host, before of course the scandal of the past couple of weeks.

Could Ken Jennings be a top candidate again?

That remains a mystery as Jeopardy brass has stayed extremely quiet as of late. Naming him host would reopen the door for his past messages to be scrutinized. There are also some other candidates still out there — LeVar Burton remains a fan favorite while another former contestant in Buzzy Cohen did a fantastic job hosting the Tournament of Champions. He’s not the mainstream figure that Ken Jennings is, but we don’t really think Jeopardy! needs someone who everyone in the country is familiar with.

Who do you think will be the host now?

Be sure to share right now in the attached comments! Once you do just that, stick around for some other news on the series. (Photo: Sony.)

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