Ken Jennings‘ run as Jeopardy!‘s inaugural guest host is nearing its conclusion.
TVLine has learned that the GOAT contestant will wrap his stint as Alex Trebek’s temp successor on Friday, Feb. 19. Jennings will then pass the baton to Jeopardy! exec producer Mike Richards, who will serve as Guest Host No. 2 beginning Monday, Feb. 22.
As previously reported, Richards will then be followed by Katie Couric, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, 60 Minutes‘ Bill Whitaker and Big Bang Theory vet Mayim Bialik. Additional guest hosts will include CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta., as well as Dr. Mehmet Oz and Today‘s Savannah Guthrie.
To sweeten the deal, the game show will make a donation to the guest host’s charity of choice, in an amount equal to the cumulative winnings of the contestants that compete while they’re hosting.
Jennings kicked off his six-week stint as guest host on Jan. 11. He was the first to step in for Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer in November.
“Sharing this stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said at the top of his first show. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years, and it was even better up close. We were dazzled by his intelligence, charm and grace.
“Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex very much,” he continued, fighting back tears. “And I thank him for everything he did for all of us. Let’s be totally clear: No one will ever replace the great Alex Trebek. But we can honor him by playing the game he loved.” (Watch video of Jennings’ message here.)
As Jennings prepares to sign off (at least for now), do you think he has made a solid case for becoming Jeopardy!‘s PERMANENT host? Vote in the poll below, and then elaborate in the comments!
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