Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik are the brand new hosts of ‘Jeopardy!’
Mayim Bialik (L) and Mike Richards are named as the new hosts of Jeopardy.
Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik became the new moderators of “Jeopardy!” appointed, Sony said on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about who would replace the late beloved presenter Alex Trebek.
Richards, the current “Jeopardy!” Executive Producer, will moderate the long-running daily syndicated program. And surprisingly, actor Bialik will host the franchise’s prime-time and spin-off series.
“We took this decision incredibly seriously,” said Ravi Ahuja, chairman of global television studios and corporate development for Sony Pictures.
“There is an incredible amount of work and thought involved, perhaps more than ever in the selection of the moderators for a show – and rightly so, because it is called ‘Jeopardy!’. and we follow the incomparable Alex Trebek. “
“Danger!” has ridden through a number of innkeepers since Trebek’s death in November. Potential permanent replacements for Trebek included Ken Jennings, a writer with the longest winning streak on ‘Jeopardy!’ History, journalist Katie Couric, professional football star Aaron Rodgers, news anchor Anderson Cooper, CNBC financial journalist David Faber and actor LeVar Burton.
Richards, who signed a multi-year deal with Sony in 2019, is the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”. He served as executive producer on The Price is Right and executive producer on Let’s Make a Deal for 11 years. He has hosted several series including “Beauty and the Geek” and the 2012 revival of “The Pyramid”.
Richards came under the microscope when rumors first started circulating last week that he was playing Trebek as the host of “Jeopardy!” could replace.
During his tenure as executive producer of “The Price is Right,” Brandi Cochran filed a 2010 discrimination lawsuit against CBS and FremantleMedia. The lawsuit alleged the model was not re-invited to the show after taking time off because of her pregnancy. The case was eventually settled, but Richards faced other pregnancy discrimination lawsuits beyond Cochran that were unsuccessful.
“These were allegations made against the show in labor disputes,” Richards said in a memo to staff this week. “I want you all to know that the way my comments and actions have been described in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on ‘The Price is Right’.”
Best known for her portrayal of Amy Farrah Fowler in CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” Bialik is the writer, neuroscientist, and executive producer and star of Fox’s “Call Me Kat.”
She will host Jeopardy! National College Championship, a brand new tournament that will see 15 colleges compete against each other in two weeks of intense head-to-head competition.
Ahuja said a senior group of executives from Sony Picture Television consulted multiple panels and focus groups to select Richards and Bialik.
“We knew early on that we wanted to share responsibility for the hosts and it became very clear that Mike and Mayim were the undeniable choices,” he said. “You were both at the forefront of our research and analysis.”