Monday marks the start of a new era for Jeopardy!. Following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek, whose final episode aired January 8, the show will introduce a series of guest hosts until a more-permanent replacement is named.
The first interim host is 74-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, whose first episode airs tonight. The show shared a teaser of what’s in store on Monday, which includes an emotional tribute to Trebek.
“Sharing the stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” the 46-year-old emotionally announces during the promo. “Like all Jeopardy! fans, I miss Alex… very much.”
Jennings previously spoke about the final conversation he had with Trebek, which happened shortly before the beloved game show host died.
“We had talked about the possibility of me guest hosting for him at some point and he was so sweet,” Jennings told E! Online. “I remember him just being very confident in me to be a guest host if he ever needed that.”
Jennings, who holds the record for the longest winning streak on Jeopardy!, also relayed the sound advice Trebek shared during their phone call.
“I was reminded of the thing he always emphasized about the show which was he’s not the star of the show,” said Jennings. “You know, the host is not the star of Jeopardy!”
Trebek’s final day of filming was October 29, just 10 days before he died, according to a statement from the show.
Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on November 8 at age 80. His permanent successor has yet to be announced.
The first episode of the Jennings-helmed Jeopardy! premieres 7 p.m. tonight on ABC.
By Megan Stone
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