How much does Ken Jennings make hosting Jeopardy?
The game show veteran has taken up a new role on one of the most widely-watched programs on television.
Earlier this year it was announced that Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik would become co-hosts of Jeopardy! after the sad death of its former host, Alex Trebeck.
The hit television show had been hosted by Trebek from its 1984 revival right up until 2020. The game show was originally created by Merv Griffin and debuted in 1964, becoming a fixture in millions of households across the country.
Although they were billed as co-hosts, it is Jennings who is taking the lead on the main show, while Bialik hosts the celebrity version and is expected to take over from him in the new year. Jennings was perhaps a strange choice to be named as host, having risen to fame on the other side of the question cards.
Jennings holds the distinction of being the highest-earning American game show contestant, having bagged money on five different TV programs. Most lucrative of all was the $4,522,700 he banked from his record-breaking winning streak on Jeopardy!, the show he now hosts.
How much will Ken Jennings earn on Jeopardy?
The salary details for the hosts have not been revealed, but given the considerable wealth that Jennings has built in his career to date, it is fair to assume that it is a generous figure. Previous host Alex Trebeck was earning around $10 million per year from the show.
At points other guest hosts have fulfilled Trebeck’s former role, most notably current Senate candidate Dr. Oz, who reportedly earned $268,000 per day for hosting duties in 2020. Mehmet Oz was a well-known celebrity and respected public figure after a five-season stint on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a health expert, before hosting his own program, The Dr Oz Show, in 2009
He has had a number of significant public roles and so could likely command a high price when he was offered the role of guest host in 2020. Jennings does not quite possess the same fame or name recognition so he will likely be paid less.
But whatever the amount is it is certain to be a very comfortable salary, given the huge popularity of the show. Executive producer Michael Davies explained that the show’s success in recent months is in large part down to the new hosts.
He said: “With Mayim and Ken hosting, the show is considerably up in viewership year over year, with more than 27M viewers tuning in each week this season.
“When you consider that almost every other show in broadcast television and syndication is declining, this has been a quite remarkable season: we’re the most-watched entertainment show on all of television. Yes, all of television.’