Aaron Rodgers says he definitely would have taken 'Jeopardy!' job if offered, and hey, it just so happens it's open again
We’ll take “Ongoing No. 12 Drama” for $800.
Clue: “This NFL quarterback could still end up behind the “Jeopardy!” lectern as permanent host.”
Answer: “Who is Aaron Rodgers?”
Correct, but with heavy emphasis on the question mark.
Just when it looked like the clock had run out on the Green Bay Packers quarterback’s chance to land his dream job as the host of the game show he loves, well, not so fast with the buzzer.
The job is once again open after Mike Richards announced Friday he was immediately stepping down from his newly appointed role as the host amid ongoing accusations of past offensive comments about women's bodies and Jewish people. Richards, who will remain as executive producer of “Jeopardy!,” was named the permanent replacement for Alex Trebek on Aug. 13. Mayim Bialik was announced at the same time as the host of “Jeopardy!” primetime and spinoff series.
Shortly before the news broke that Richards was quitting, a 30-minute interview Adam Schein recorded with Rodgers on Thursday aired for “Schein on Sports” on Mad Dog Sports Radio, and you guessed it, the topic of “Jeopardy!” came up.
Schein asked Rodgers if he would have taken the hosting gig had it been offered to him.
“Yeah, I definitely would have. I mean if they would’ve figured out a way to make it work with my schedule, yeah, for sure,” Rodgers said.
In an interview with The Ringer in April, Rodgers said he didn't think he would need to give up football to do it and could fit the 46 days of filming each year around his football commitments.
During the interview with Schein that aired Friday, Rodgers talked about what the experience was like for him as someone who considers himself a superfan of the iconic game show, and had the utmost respect for the legendary Trebek, who died in November of cancer.
“That was so much fun. It was just so much fun. I spent a lot of time studying and getting ready for it. I definitely wanted it, was interested in finding a way to make it work with my schedule and their schedule and filming," Rodgers said. "But I had such a blast. I mean I have zero regrets with how it all went. It was such a special environment. It was surreal to be on that stage and to work with Mike and the other producers ...”
Sony Pictures Television is resuming its search for a permanent syndicated host and will bring back guest hosts in the meantime, with the first new guest host set to begin Sept. 20.
Rodgers was among 16 celebrity guest hosts, including Ken Jennings, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, LeVar Burton and Buzzy Cohen, who took their turn filling in this year. He made it clear he was interested in the position permanently. He was well received in most of the best-to-worst rankings of hosts and delivered some of the highest Nielsen ratings for his two-week stint in April, just behind Richards and Jennings.
An in-depth story published by The Ringer on Wednesday about Richards' past also addresses the backlash from some about the show hiring an internal candidate after a months-long parade of guest hosts.
“It’s unfortunate that guest hosts like Aaron Rodgers and LeVar Burton really put themselves out there in terms of openly wanting the job and for Rodgers in particular, discussing the extraordinary amount of effort to which he went to prepare for his turn, when it’s not clear anyone besides Richards ever had a real chance at the main role,” Kristin Sausville, who won five games on "Jeopardy!" in 2015, said in the story.
Contact Kendra Meinert at 920-431-8347 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert.