Ken Jennings to Take Over as 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' Host From Mayim Bialik

'Celebrity Jeopardy!' has a new host, and it’s a familiar face. 

Celebrity Jeopardy! has a new host, and it’s a familiar face. 

ABC confirmed to ET that Jeopardy! co-host Ken Jennings will take over hosting duties for the upcoming season of Celebrity Jeopardy! from Mayim Bialik, who hosted the first season of the show.

Meanwhile, showrunner Michael Davies shared that Jeopardy! is making some changes for its upcoming 40th season amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike.

Davies gave an update on the long-running trivia show -- hosted by Bialik and Jennings -- on an episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, sharing that the show's fall season will re-use questions and bring back past runners-up to compete again.

"I believe, principally, that it would not be fair to have new contestants making their first appearance on the Alex Trebek Stage with non-original material," Davies explained. "We’re going to open the season with a second chance tournament for players from season 37 who lost their initial game. Winners from that will advance to a season 37 and season 38 Champions Wildcard."

The season 40 questions, he added, will be "a combination of material that our WGA writers wrote before the strike, which is still in the database, and material that has been re-deployed from multiple multiple seasons of the show."

Alex Trebek, who began hosting the show in 1984, died in November 2020 at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Trebek wanted to keep hosting Jeopardy! as long as he was able. Shortly after his death, ET spoke with Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards, who revealed that he and Trebek never discussed who'd be the host's replacement

"He never mentioned names to us. He really wanted to be the host of the show, while he was the host of the show," Richards explained. "So we didn't say, 'Hey, what about this person? What about that person?' It was his show until he told us he was going to retire and, amazingly, he never did. I think that's a blessing."

While Trebek didn't get specific with Richards about the host's eventual replacement, "he did talk about what it would take to be a good Jeopardy! host."

"Typical Alex. He was self-deprecating [and] said, 'It's not that hard.' Let me tell you that it is maybe the hardest show on TV to host; 61 clues in 22 minutes, accents, pronunciations, scoring, calling on people, ruling on the answers," Richards said. "He talked a lot about how it needs to be someone that the audience will respect, that's believable in the role [and] has credibility... He was so smart that you bought it, because you knew he knew the answer, too."

People who fit that description from Trebek's point of view included actress Betty White, Los Angeles Kings play-by-play announcer Alex Faust, and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates, all of whom the host said had the chops to helm the show. Following Trebek's death, Coates called him a "humble legend."

"That is the one thing he made us promise, that this great show was not done. He did not want to be bigger than the show. [He] fought that his whole time. He said, 'It's the show. It's the clues. It's the contestants,'" Richards said. "Obviously, we all feel that he was an incredibly huge part of that, but that was his take."

Celebrity Jeopardy! will premiere its second season on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m., and will be followed by season premieres of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune at 9 p.m. and The $100,000 Pyramid at 10 p.m. on ABC.