Following the controversial exit of former executive producer and brief host Mike Richards, Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will host the remaining episodes of Jeopardy! filming for the rest of the year. Initially, Richards was named as the show's next primary host while Bialik would be hosting primetime specials and spinoffs. He has since stepped down and the next permanent host of Jeopardy! has not yet been named.
After the death of longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek in 2020, the search for his successor on the popular game show has turned out to be quite the fiasco. It began with Richards, who was executive producing the show at the time, announcing that a series of guest hosts would be brought in to essentially audition for the job. At the end of it, Richards generated great controversy when he named himself as Trebek's successor, drawing criticism from fans who felt that the process was rigged in his favor.
Making matters worse for Richards, problematic comments he'd made on a podcast several years prior had resurfaced. Two previous discrimination lawsuits from his time working on The Price Is Right also came back to light. All of this together was bringing Jeopardy! more controversy than the other producers were willing to bear, and Richards was ultimately fired from the show, both as a producer and as a short-lived host.
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings were both pretty well received by fans during their respective stints guest hosting Jeopardy! in the past. Even so, the news that there are only two guest hosts for the rest of the year might disappoint some fans hoping to see another fan favorite get another shot. LeVar Burton had been a popular choice for the job for many, with some fans going so far as to sign a petition demanding he get the job. Things didn't work out that well, but Burton seems to have already moved on, grateful to have just gotten the opportunity to try.
"I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I've won," Burton wrote on Twitter in July. "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."
While many of Burton's fans were happy with his limited time hosting the show, another clear fan favorite was Mayim Bialik. The Big Bang Theory star had impressed many viewers when she served as a guest host, as she took to the job very, very well. Fans also enjoyed when Jeopardy! paid tribute to Ghostbusters during Bialik's run.
When it was announced that Richards would be stepping down as host, it was quickly reported that Mayim Bialik would temporarily host the show with the search back on for a new host. Along with Bialik, Ken Jennings, and LeVar Burton, other guest hosts included names like Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Anderson Cooper, Buzzy Cohen, David Faber, Aaron Rodgers, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Bill Whitaker, Joe Buck, and Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The search for someone to fill Alex Trebek's shoes was never going to be easy. Even so, the Jeopardy! producers probably didn't anticipate that it would be this much of a mess. This news comes to us from Variety.