“I think Ken Jennings should be the host. I really, I can’t say enough about him,” Schneider said Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources. “I didn’t necessarily think that before going into this, you know, because, like, yes, he was a great champion, but this is a different skill set. But you could see the work that he put into it, and I just thought he did a really great job, so as far as I’m concerned, that’s my endorsement.”
Schneider, whose record-breaking 40-game winning streak on the game show ended Wednesday, also told anchor Brian Stelter that it hadn’t been easy to watch the show she’s enjoyed for decades — long before she was a contestant — struggling to fill the important position.
Jeopardy! first sought a new host last year, after the airing of the final episodes hosted by the late Alex Trebek. After helming the show since 1984, he died of pancreatic cancer in November 2020. A months-long process of auditions by Jennings — the only Jeopardy! player with more consecutive wins than Schneider — and celebs, including Call Me Kat‘s Mayim Bialik, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton, followed. It ended after the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, was named for the job in August. However, Richards stepped away from both hosting and from Jeopardy! altogether within weeks, after offensive comments he had made on his former podcast and a lawsuit lodged against a show he’d previously overseen, The Price Is Right, resurfaced.
On CNN, Stelter asked Schneider if she felt like her run had brought some positive energy to the TV staple.
“I’ve loved this show, and I’ve hated to see it, you know, all the kind of negative headlines about it for the last year or so,” she said. “And so to see everybody talk about it for the reasons it ought to be talked about was really nice.”
Show executives eventually chose both Jennings and Bialik to split the responsibility of delivering the clues temporarily. (Michael Davies has taken on the executive producer role.) They’ll do so through at least the rest of the current TV season, which is expected to run through August.
Earlier this month, when asked, Schneider told the Los Angeles Times that she would consider hosting if she were approached.
“It would certainly be a cool experience,” she said. “It’s a lot harder than it looks. Whether I’d actually even be good at it, I don’t know … But yeah, I’d certainly consider it if somebody asked.”
She also praised Jennings then for doing a “fantastic” job.