Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik will serve as Alex Trebek's successors as following the legendary Jeopardy! host's death in 2020. After Trebek's passing last year due to cancer, various guest hosts were brought in to take turns hosting Jeopardy! while the powers that be behind the scenes discussed potential replacements. Following recent rumors that Jeopardy! exec producer Mike Richards was up for the job, it's been officially confirmed that will host the show on a permanent basis with Bialik filling in for primetime and spinoff series.
"We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America's Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of Jeopardy!," said Ravi Ahuja, chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures in a statement. "We took this decision incredibly seriously. A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show - deservedly so because it's Jeopardy! and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek. A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups, and got valuable input from our key partners and Jeopardy! Viewers."
Alujah added: "We knew early on that we wanted to divide the hosting responsibilities and it became very clear that Mike and Mayim were the undeniable choices. 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."
"I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!," Richards said in his own release. "Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode."
"Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show," he added. "I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love. I am thrilled that Mayim is joining the Jeopardy! team. Her academic track record and enthusiasm for the game made her a terrific guest host. It will be a privilege to produce the primetime series with her as host."
A statement from Bialik reads: "I couldn't be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family. What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life! I'm so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I'm just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony. After all the conversations we've had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started!"
This is certainly great news for Richards and Bialik, but it's a bit of a bummer for LeVar Burton fans. Following a fan campaign for Burton to host the show, he was given a brief run serving as a guest host toward the end of season 37. While many fans were happy with his performance and felt he should be given the job permanently, Richards and the other execs behind the scenes at Jeopardy! didn't share that opinion. Fortunately, Burton is grateful for the opportunity either way.
"I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I've won," Burton recently wrote on Twitter. "The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure."
New episodes of Jeopardy! with Richards serving as the host will begin on Sept. 13. Production on the 38th season will begin this month. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.