Ken Jennings Received Some of the Highest ‘Jeopardy!' Ratings as a Guest Host

Ken Jennings seemed in line to be Alex Trebek's successor as 'Jeopardy!' host, but how were his reviews from his time as a guest host?

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Sep. 20 2021, Published 9:12 a.m. ET

Ken Jennings Jeopardy Host Reviews
Source: ABC

Who thought that one of America's most inoffensive, innocuous, and long-standing wholesome trivia shows would ultimately end up being mired in so much controversy? But that's always the case whenever it comes to a job that includes a certain level of prestige along with tons of exposure; whoever hosts that gig has the ability to become a cornerstone of television history.

But the way that production handled its Jeopardy! successorship — with a slew of guest hosts — proved to be a huge fiasco, especially when one considered Ken Jennings' ratings/reviews as host.

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Ken Jennings received generally positive reviews when he hosted 'Jeopardy!'

There are a few Jeopardy! players who've gone down in history for being ridiculously adept trivia, but Ken Jennings went down as one of the best players to also stand behind the podium as host.

He earned $2.52 million over a 74-game win streak that began in 2004 (and $4,522,700 total). Jennings became such a legendary competitor that he was ultimately hired by the show as a consulting producer.

Ken Jennings
Source: ABC
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After Alex Trebek passed away, many believed that Ken would go on to become the host of Jeopardy! and it seemed like Sony Pictures Television was on board.

Jennings was given a six-week trial run on the show and averaged a 6.0 in the ratings. His guest host stint was then followed by producer Mike Richards, who ultimately got the permanent gig but lost it when he was embroiled in a massive scandal.

But before all that, it seemed like Ken Jennings had it in the bag. However, some "insensitive" tweets of his from 2014 began circulating the internet, including one comment where he wrote, "Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair."

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The focus groups that Sony consulted with after the Twitter scandal came to light apparently weren't too fond of Ken Jennings, so they decided to bring on other guests hosts while they figured out who would be the permanent host.

Aside from the negative reaction from vocal social media users, Ken Jennings received generally positive reviews for his hosting duties.

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He's visibly passionate about the game and does a great job of moving things along on the program as well as supplying banter with guests. He's even curated a type of "game show" host look and then there's the fact that Sony decided to bring him back in wake of the Mike Richards scandal — Ken will host the show alongside Mayim Bialik to close out 2021.

Some fans are still lobbying for other hosts to take over after the Ken Jennings "controversy."

There are viewers at home who have put their foot down and made it very clear who they wanted to become the new host of Jeopardy! A lot of people really wanted LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow fame to take care of business, but he's stated he doesn't want to host the long-running trivia show anymore, as it seems he's helping to develop another game show that he could possibly be involved with.

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Then you've got people who are Buzzy Cohen die-hards who would love to see the bespectacled trivia enthusiast become the new Jeopardy! host.

But the person who received the most overwhelmingly positive response from audiences seems to be Green Bay Packers quarterback legend Aaron Rodgers, who says he "definitely" would have taken the Jeopardy! job if offered to him.

He also averaged a 5.6 million viewership. So who knows what Sony Pictures Television has planned? Will they keep Mayim and Ken if the ratings hold steady until the end of the year? Or will they shake things up in 2022?

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