Mayim Bialik first ‘Jeopardy’ host after Mike Richard’s departure
Actress Mayim Bialik arrives at the Saban Community Clinic’s 43rd Annual Dinner Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on November 18, 2019.
Amanda Edwards | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Mayim Bialik becomes the first guest presenter of “Jeopardy!” after the short-lived tenure of Mike Richards, who left the role amid a cloud of controversy.
Bialik, who was named prime-time host for specials in early August, including the upcoming Jeopardy! National College Championship, is slated to be taped over three days for the program.
The game show typically spins episodes for a week on a single day, so Bialik, a star of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Blossom,” is expected to host three weeks of the show programming.
The news comes just days after Richards stepped down as the new host on the long-running quiz show after The Ringer reported on controversial comments he made in the past. Richards remains executive producer on the series.
According to CNN, Bialik is eligible for the main hosting gig. When “Danger!” Executives and Sony initially considered candidates for the role for this current season, but Bialik was unavailable due to conflicts with her Fox sitcom “Call Me Kat,” in which she stars and is the executive producer .
However, now that the studio is taking longer to consider replacing the late Alex Trebek and Richards, Bialik may be a “viable choice,” a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Ken Jennings, a longest-running writer on Jeopardy! History and who got the highest ratings of any innkeeper who participated last season will also be taken into account, reports say.
“I was told by two show insiders that it is now Jennings’ job to lose,” wrote Matthew Belloni in his What I am Hearing … “newsletter. Belloni is a retired Hollywood reporter editor.
“Danger!” cycled through a number of innkeepers after Trebek died in November. Standing substitutes also included journalist Katie Couric, professional football star Aaron Rodgers, news anchor Anderson Cooper, CNBC financial journalist David Faber and actor LeVar Burton.
Fans of “Jeopardy!” who had been demanding to hire Burton for months after the program were discouraged when Richards got the hosting job and have revived their social media campaign for his appointment to the post.
Burton became famous for his work on the miniseries “Roots” as well as for hosting the PBS series “Reading Rainbow” and his appearances on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.
“Danger!” has not yet announced who will be added to the line-up for their new round of restaurateurs.