The question is, “Who was suave, cool and has been in the news?”
The answer? “The late host of ‘Jeopardy!’ Alex Trebek.”
Now a worldwide search has been launched to find his successor.
A spokesman for Sony Pictures Television has declined to comment on the status of the search, but in the weeks to come fans should get a better picture of who is being eyed for the coveted position.
“The next host will be maintaining the legacy of a national institution,” one executive said.
Malibu’s late television guru Merv Griffin created the show, along with its long running partner, “Wheel of Fortune,” starring Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
“Jeopardy” first premiered on NBC in 1964.
Audience levels for both cable and broadcast TV have been on a slide of decline in the day of streaming, but “Jeopardy!” has maintained its popularity. It draws around 8 million viewers daily on the many stations that carry it across the country.
Younger viewers who have gained interest in the show and Trebek are discovering past episodes on Netflix.
Late last year, there was an all-time “Jeopardy!” champion showdown. It was close between the last two contestants, but Ken Jennings emerged the winner. He is now being considered to succeed the legendary host as an interim replacement.
“Jeopardy” fans will now see a variety of try-outs including the possibility of longtime TV personality Katie Couric. The popular TV host, who has guided shows on NBC, CBS and other high profile gigs, has more than enough cred under her belt. She’s also sympathetic, well known and has a sweetheart smile.
Other names that have been circulated include Steve Kornacki, the MSNBC political correspondent who has developed a huge following. Also under consideration are actress Mayim Bialik and even Mike Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” who just happens to have experience as a game show host.
Although he is not a well-known name, he delivered an on-air message to “Jeopardy!” fans after Trebek’s death on Nov. 8 from pancreatic cancer.
But, no matter who the successor is, fans know Trebek cannot ever be replaced.