Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

By Dan Kilbridge | | 6 mins

Who Will Be The Next Jeopardy Host? Ranking The Guest Hosts

Who Will Be The Next Jeopardy Host? Ranking The Guest Hosts

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The production team at Jeopardy had to ask some tough questions following the death of long-time host, Alex Trebek. How could the show carry on in the absence of one of the most beloved TV personalities of all time? Trebek hosted the show for 37 years with such grace and wit that one wondered if it were possible any human being on planet earth were more capable and competent at his job than Trebek at the helm of Jeopardy.

Given the impossible task of immediately stepping into Trebek’s shoes, Jeopardy instead picked a series of guest hosts who would handle the job for two-week intervals throughout the summer. That process is about halfway through, with various celebrities, friends of the show and even pro athletes handling hosting duties with varying degrees of success.

Viewers have provided immediate feedback on each host via social media throughout each new episode, but one big question remains. Who will eventually become the next full-time host of Jeopardy?

Bookies.com has established a ranking system with various factors taken into account to judge the performance of each guest host and rank them, with our findings listed below. We will continue to update these rankings throughout the summer until every guest host has had their turn, shedding some insight on who will be the next host of Jeopardy.

Who Will Be The Next Jeopardy Host? Ranking The Guest Hosts 1

Quick Takeaways

Strong Early Contenders

Ken Jennings currently leads the group with a Bookies.com overall score of 28.2. He had a few built-in advantages, including his familiarity with Jeopardy viewers. Jennings owns the longest winning streak in the show’s history having ripped off 74 consecutive victories as a contestant in 2004, a run which gained national attention and paved the way for his later appearances in various Tournament of Champions formats.

Jennings also hosted the show from January 4-February 19, a much longer stint than the other guests. His episodes pulled the highest Nielsen ratings of any host so far, and he enjoyed mostly positive reviews on social media and in traditional coverage.

The biggest surprise has been the performance of our second-highest rated guest host, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The star athlete won the 2015 Celebrity Jeopardy tournament and impressed even further with his hosting gig from April 5-16. He spoke with great pace and assuring tones, joked with contestants when appropriate and never distracted from the overall competition. Most would say he added to it in a big way.

Rodgers’ overall Bookies.com score of 27.6 has him very close to Jennings in our rankings. Rodgers received 76,129 unique mentions on social media and was mentioned in more than 10,000 stories and blog posts.

Keep in mind, this was before news broke of the current drama in Green Bay amid Rodgers’ strong desire to leave the Packers. One can only imagine the social media buzz if the two events had coincided. Some have suggested he would rather not play than return for another season with his current team. While Rodgers believes he could make it work as a full-time host even if he’s still an active NFL quarterback, his clear enjoyment of the role and widespread approval must be slightly concerning for diehard Packers fans.

Who Struggled or Disappointed?

Longtime journalist and former “Today” co-host Katie Couric, TV personality Dr. Oz and "Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie did not score as well, ranking at the bottom of our list following their appearances. All three received more negative than positive reviews on social media and generated little buzz in media coverage.

Guthrie's score of -2.9 was impacted by low TV ratings, which is to be expected in the summer months when many are on vacation. She also said she has no desire to become the full-time host and viewed it as a fun challenge.

From a viewer’s perspective, Couric seemed a bit uncomfortable and hesitant in her new role. The talent that carried her to stardom on morning television just didn’t translate to the fast-paced game show. Oz has always been a bit of a controversial figure and really added nothing to the broadcast, leaving some to wonder how he made the guest host list in the first place. He had one of the worst overall scores of any host with a 4.9, while Couric was just a bit higher at 6.8.

Oz had the worst Nielsen ratings, alongside CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who finished slightly below-average with a score of 7.3.

Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik of "The Big Bang Theory" fame finished on the lower-end with a score of 7.0, though she had great viewer sentiment. Like Guthrie, low ratings in the summer months and a lack of media coverage likely harmed her score in a way that doesn't reflect the actual performance.

Jeopardy’s executive producer Mike Richards had the third-best overall score behind Rodgers with a 20.0. The longtime behind-the-scenes employee was almost too smooth, if anything, gliding the show along with a sort of Don Draper-ish demeanor right down to the timeless wardrobe and carefully-crafted hairstyle.

Breaking Down The Contenders

Ken Jennings

  • Hosted from January 4, 2021 to February 19, 2021
  • Received 44,275 unique Twitter mentions including “Ken Jennings” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows he hosted had the highest average Nielsen rating of all guest hosts so far with a 6
  • Mentioned in 8,840 news stories and blog posts

Aaron Rodgers

  • Hosted from April 5, 2021 to April 16, 2021
  • Received 76,129 unique Twitter mentions including “Aaron Rodgers” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Nielsen rating of 5.5
  • Mentioned in 10,006 news stories and blog posts

Mike Richards

  • Hosted from February 22, 2021 to March 5, 2021
  • Received 4,146 unique Twitter mentions including “Mike Richards” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Nielsen rating of 5.9
  • Mentioned in 5,278 news stories and blog posts

Bill Whitaker

  • Hosted from May 3, 2021 to May 14, 2021
  • Received 3,212 unique Twitter mentions including “Bill Whitaker” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Nielsen rating of 5.2
  • Mentioned in 2,639 news stories and blog posts

Anderson Cooper

  • Hosted from April 19, 2021 to April 30, 2021
  • Received 23,319 unique Twitter mentions including “Anderson Cooper” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Nielsen rating of 5.1
  • Mentioned in 2,949 news stories and blog posts

Buzzy Cohen

  • Hosted from May 17, 2021 to May 28, 2021
  • Received 5,624 unique Twitter mentions including “Buzzy Cohen” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Nielsen rating of 5.1
  • Mentioned in 1,078 news stories and blog posts

Mayim Bialik

  • Hosted from May 31, 2021 to June 11, 2021
  • Received 2,588 unique Twitter mentions including “Mayim Bialik” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Neilsen rating of 5
  • Mentioned in 448 news stories and blog posts

Katie Couric

  • Hosted from March 8, 2021 to March 19, 2021
  • Received 17,731 unique Twitter mentions including “Katie Couric” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Nielsen rating of 5.5
  • Mentioned in 4,566 news stories and blog posts

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

  • Hosted from June 28, 2021 to July 9, 2021
  • Received 3,892 unique Twitter mentions including “Dr. Sanjay Gupta” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Neilsen rating of 4.9
  • Mentioned in 448 news stories and blog posts

Dr. Oz

  • Hosted from March 22, 2021 to April 2, 2021
  • Received 51,613 unique Twitter mentions including “Dr. Oz” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Nielsen rating of 5.1
  • Mentioned in 2,026 news stories and blog posts

Savannah Guthrie

  • Hosted from June 14, 2021 to June 25, 2021
  • Received 9,465 unique Twitter mentions including “Savannah Guthrie” and “Jeopardy”
  • Shows hosted had an average Neilsen rating of 4.7
  • Mentioned in 639 news stories and blog posts

Note: George Stephanopoulos is currently hosting; upcoming are Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber and Joe Buck at Alex Trebek’s podium.

Methodology: Bookies.com’s rankings were based on several factors, including social media mentions while host was on-air, overall sentiment of mentions, Nielsen ratings and media coverage. Each of the categories were based on a 10-point scale with positive sentiment adding 5 points overall, negative sentiment subtracting 5 points and neutral sentiment receiving 0 points. Social and media mentions received equal weight with greater weight placed on Nielsen ratings of the hosts.

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.