Who Will Replace Mike Richards as ‘Jeopardy!’ Host? 7 Most Likely Candidates

Laura Coates, LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers
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A: This legendary TV series is back to square one in its search for a host. Q: What is Jeopardy!?

Yes, the syndicated game show is once again in the market for a new emcee now that Mike Richards’ past podcast comments have come back to haunt him.

Richards stepped down from the job on Friday, August 20, after just one day of filming the first five episodes of Season 38, according to The New York Times. He’ll remain as executive producer, but Sony Pictures Entertainment is lining up a new rotation of guest hosts—which will include Season 37 fill-in Mayim Bialik—as it looks for another replacement for the late Alex Trebek.

'Jeopardy!': Who Should Replace Mike Richards as Host? (POLL)See Also

'Jeopardy!': Who Should Replace Mike Richards as Host? (POLL)

The permanent gig is suddenly up for grabs again.

So who’s next? Here are our picks for the familiar faces we think have a shot at the full-time spot, in ascending order of likelihood.

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Alex Faust
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Alex Faust

This Los Angeles Kings play-by-play announcer is one of two potential successors Alex Trebek proposed before his death. (“He’s young. He’s attractive. His first name is Alex,” the late host quipped.) After the Mike Richards debacle, Sony would be wise to honor Trebek’s wishes, but we’re not sure Faust has as much visibility as…

Laura Coates
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Laura Coates

This CNN legal analyst is the other potential heir Trebek mentioned—he called her “very bright” and “very personable”—and she likely gets more time on camera than Faust. Plus, her August 18 tweet about Trebek suggests she’s still interested in the position.

Mayim Bialik
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Mayim Bialik

Even though Sony hired this Big Bang Theory alum to host primetime Jeopardy! spinoffs and specials, she likely won’t be able to commit to regular Jeopardy! hosting duties while she’s still starring on the Fox sitcom Call Me Kat, as the Los Angeles Times points out. In fact, TMZ notes that Sony execs were “very interested” in having her host the main program, but her schedule ruled out the possibility.

Aaron Rodgers
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Aaron Rodgers

He’s got a helluva day job as a Green Bay Packers quarterback taking up his time, but Rodgers is still interested in returning to the Jeopardy! lectern. In a recent Mad Dog Sports Radio interview, the NFL MVP said he “definitely would have” taken the full-time hosting gig “if they would have figured out a way to make it work with [his schedule].”

Katie Couric
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Katie Couric

This Today alum and former CBS Evening News anchor might be in the market for another full-time TV job, and according to TheWrap, she got the fourth-best ratings of the guest hosts, behind Rodgers, Richards, and Jennings (whom we’ll discuss in a bit).

LeVar Burton
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LeVar Burton

Burton has the popular vote—including that of celebrities like Nicole Yvette Brown and Ryan Reynolds. The former Reading Rainbow host is the candidate we think should get the job full-time, especially given how long he has wanted it. He did get the worst ratings of the guest hosts so far, but he was also competing with the Olympics. But we also wouldn’t fault him if he turned down the gig, since Sony already passed him over.

Ken Jennings
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Ken Jennings

The Jeopardy! champ was the first guest host, and we’d wager good money he’ll take the job full-time now. He did get the best ratings (perhaps swayed by post-Trebek viewer curiosity), he topped a TV Insider poll about Mike Richards replacements, and he wants to helm the show again. (“I did feel like at the end, I was almost starting to get comfortable.… I do hope I get another chance,” he told Deseret News in March.) One potential snag, however, is that Jennings has his own history of offensive comments.