Just one day after Alex Trebek's death, representatives for ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos reportedly began lobbying for him to take over as the new Jeopardy! host. Trebek died Sunday morning at 80, following a battle with prostate cancer. Sony Television, the studio behind the beloved game show, has not announced who will host the show next.
A source told The Wrap Monday that Stephanopoulos' rep was "lobbying" to take over the show, but his agent, Alan Berger, did not respond. Another source close to the Good Morning America co-anchor denied he was "actively" pursuing the job. However, the first source said Stephanopoulos has "his eye" on the job and his agent is lobbying with ABC, as ABC-owned TV stations have syndication rights to the series.
CBS Television distributes the show and Sony produces it. Both companies did not comment on the report. Another member of the ABC News team is interested in the job, the first source told The Wrap. Dan Harris, the weekend anchor for Good Morning America, and other ABC News anchors are "pitching themselves" as potential Trebek replacements.
Before Trebek's death, there was speculation among fans that beloved Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings would be in the running to replace his idol. In September, before the ongoing season began, Jennings was hired as a consulting producer on the show and agreed to introduce special video categories. After Jennings was hired though, executive producer Mike Richards told The Ringer Jennings' new job was not a "tryout" to replace Trebek. In an interview with PopCulture, Jennings said the job offer came as a surprise to him, as he thought he might be done with the show after winning the first Greatest of All Time tournament.
Trebek died Sunday morning, surrounded by his friends and family, Jeopardy! reps said. He continued filming episodes until Oct. 29, and his last new episode will air on Christmas Day. Trebek started hosting the show in 1984. "The show is not announcing plans for a new host at this time," show reps said Sunday.
Stephanopoulos, 59, rose to fame as a Democratic Party advisor and served as President Bill Clinton's White House Communications Director in 1993 and as a senior advisor. He joined ABC News after leaving the White House and co-hosts Good Morning America with Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan. He also hosts the network's Sunday morning political show This Week.