Mayim Bialik and Mike Richards Will Split “Jeopardy!” Hosting Duties for Some Unknown Reason

The pair of former guest hosts are confusingly set to share the permanent duty (and honor) of replacing Alex Trebek

Actress Mayim Bialik, recently named a co-host of "Jeopardy!"
Actress Mayim Bialik in 2019 in Beverly Hills.
Amanda Edwards/Getty

After nine months of searching for a new host following the death of game-show legend Alex Trebek, Jeopardy! has settled on his replacement … s.

In a move that seems destined to be a failure at worst and unpopular at best, Jeopardy! is set to announce that actress Mayim Bialik (Blossom, The Big Bang Theory) and longtime show executive producer Mike Richards will take over hosting duties and split them up, per The Daily Beast.

Richards, who was already shaping up to be a shaky choice because he was named in several lawsuits during his time at The Price Is Right related to gender discrimination, will seize the reins of the daily syndicated program and Bialik, possibly in a bid by Sony Pictures Television to take some of the heat off Richards, will handle primetime shows and spin-offs like the upcoming Jeopardy! National College Championship.

“These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show,” Richards wrote in a memo sent to Jeopardy! staff and reviewed by The Daily Beast. “I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price Is Right.”

With a slew of other guests hosts, including Joe Buck, Katie Couric, LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts and All-Star contestant Ken Jennings, competing for the job, why Sony would choose to roll with Richards and Bialik, as well as make the unorthodox move of having them split the gig, is a bit of a headscratcher. It’s almost as if showrunners weren’t confident about Richards, Bialik or any of the other options on their own, so they just opted for a two-is-better-than-one approach instead. We could be proven wrong, but we’re guessing that, at least to replace a legend like Trebek it isn’t. Adding another layer to the confusion, Richards will also continue to serve as executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and Jennings will return as consulting producer for the show.

According to Sony Pictures chairman of global television Ravi Ahuja, a senior group of executives decided “early on” that hosting responsibilities would be divided. “It became very clear that Mike and Mayim were the undeniable choices,” he said. “They were both at the top of our research and analysis. Mike is a unique talent, at ease behind the podium and a double threat as producer and host. Mayim has a wonderful energy, an innate sense of the game and an authentic curiosity that naturally represents the Jeopardy!  brand. We are excited to get to work with them both and are confident that they will carry on the legacy of this iconic show.” 

Jeopardy! will begin production on Season 38 in mid-August with new episodes launching on September 13.

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