Last month, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek made the shocking announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek assured audiences that he would continue as host of the game show despite the grave prognosis.
Now, Radar Online has reported that Jeopardy! may already be seeking out a replacement. The outlet cited the podcast Straight Shuter: Naughty But Nice and its host Rob Shuter, who claimed a search for the new host is already underway.
“Alex is 78-years-old, and the show was already talking about a replacement host when he retired. Now with his health scare, that process has been accelerated,” sources told Shuter.
“Jeopardy! is still a very successful show and makes millions for the network. There was no way it was just going to end after Alex retired. The idea has always been to ‘refresh’ the formula, not change it.”
The show is allegedly considering having a female host to take over the hosting gig. According to Shuter, talk had always revolved around finding a female and someone of color. He added that the powers-that-be want someone “smart and well-educated” and “respected and trustworthy.” The assumption is that they are aiming “more for Gayle King than Real Housewife Nene Leakes!”
This news comes a month after Trebek revealed his cancer diagnosis to the public on social media. During his message, Trebek was adamant about fighting the disease, reiterating that he would continue to work with love and support from his family and friends as well as “with the help of your prayers.” The game show host stated that he planned to beat the disease and its low survival rate statistics, and concluded with “keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
The TV star even cracked a joke while giving the somber statement, suggesting that he had no choice but to work because the terms of his contract mandate that he host the show for three more years.
According to Comicbook, Trebek has served as the host of Jeopardy! since the show went into a syndicated daily format in 1984.
Before the diagnosis, Trebek made a lighthearted comment earlier in the year about who would be a suitable host for the iconic game show once he hit retirement.
“It’s probably going to be a woman, somebody younger, somebody bright, somebody personable, somebody with a great sense of humor,” he said at the 92nd Street Y.
“So I nominated Betty White.”