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The beloved late host's last week of episodes will begin airing on Monday

By Natalie Stone
Updated January 04, 2021 09:50 AM
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Starting Monday, Jeopardy! fans will officially say goodbye to beloved host Alex Trebek.

Nearly two months after he died at age 80 following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Trebek's final episodes of the long-running game show will begin airing this week, marking the end of an era.

To make sure you don't miss Trebek's last moments at the podium, here's what you need to know.

When will his final episodes air?

After going on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, production on Jeopardy! resumed over the summer. The ABC game show returned for its 37th season in September, with Trebek as host. His final day in the studio was Oct. 29 — just 10 days before he died.

Though his final episode was originally set to air on Christmas Day, the show announced at the end of November that it would instead air "10 of his best episodes" the weeks of Dec. 21 and Dec. 28. His final week of episodes will air the week of Jan. 4 "in order to give his millions of fans a chance to see his final appearances," the show said in a press release.

The first week of guest-hosted shows will begin the following week, on Jan. 11.

Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek
| Credit: Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Who will take over as host?

Although it's the end of an era for Jeopardy!, a rotation of familiar faces will be taking over Trebek's position for now, including champion Ken Jennings. In addition to Jennings, other members of the Jeopardy! family will also take turns hosting the show.

"Though a long-term replacement host will not be named at this time, Jeopardy! will return to the studio with a series of interim guest hosts from within the Jeopardy! family, starting with Ken Jennings," said the show, which resumed production on Nov. 30.

Alex Trebek People Magazine

Added executive producer Mike Richards: "Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him. We will honor Alex's legacy by continuing to produce the game he loved with smart contestants and challenging clues. By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers."

Following the announcement, Jennings, 46, tweeted, "There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January." (In September, it was announced that Jennings had joined the series as a consulting producer.)

ALEX TREBEK, KEN JENNINGS
Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings
| Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

How did Trebek envision his final days on set?

Trebek, who announced his cancer diagnosis in March 2019, knew his days on the show were coming to an end. And after nearly 40 years, he had an idea of how he wanted to bid farewell to the trivia show he had hosted since 1984.

ALEX TREBEK
Alex Trebek
| Credit: Eric McCandless/abc

"I've kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, 'Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That's all I want,'" he said in January during ABC's What Is Jeopardy? special.

"And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people: 'Don't ask me who's going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever," he continued. "But I'm sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success.'"

Calling his sign-off a "significant moment," the television personality added of his final words: "'And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.'"