Mike Richards, the current executive producer of “Jeopardy!” will team up with television actor Mayim Bialik to split the hosting duties. The two hosts won’t be trading off day to day, though. Richards is slated to be the new regular host, while Bialik will cover hosting duties for specials and spinoffs.
Announcing Mayim Bialik and Mike Richards as our new hosts of Jeopardy! Richards will host the daily syndicated show, while Bialik will host primetime and spinoff series.https://t.co/MVQAqnKgjU pic.twitter.com/itY6fIe5Uv
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) August 11, 2021
“We took this decision incredibly seriously,” Ravi Ahuja, chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures, said in a statement. “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.”
Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020, following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Bialik, the “Big Bang Theory” star who had a two-week stint as one of the celebrity guests hosts earlier this year, shared her excitement over her new role as host of the upcoming “Jeopardy!” National College Championship, a new tournament set to air next year, and other primetime specials in the works.
Apparently, she had been keeping the news quiet for a while. “Been waiting a long time to tell you all,” she wrote on Twitter.
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) August 11, 2021
Richards, who served as a “Jeopardy!” guest host in February, will take the podium for the daily syndicated episodes of the game show, which will air its 38th season starting Sept. 13. He has other hosting experience on his resume, including “Beauty and the Geek,” the Game Show Network’s “Divided” and “The Pyramid,” according to Sony Pictures, the production company for “Jeopardy!” And he will also continue his role as a producer.
Reactions to the new “Jeopardy!” co-hosts announcement were mixed. Some fans had other clear favorites, including former champion and “Greatest of All Time” winner Ken Jennings and actor LeVar Burton.
“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,” Ahuja said in the statement. “They were both at the top of our research and analysis.”
The news didn’t sit well with some fans, and a contingent worried about Richards taking over the daily host’s job after a number of reports surfaced regarding allegations of pregnancy discrimination when he was a producer at “The Price is Right.”
Lynne Popkowski was one of many fans who shared disgust over Richards as the next “Jeopardy!” host, citing his involvement in these claims.
Nope. I've been a viewer since the Art Fleming days and you lost me by picking Mike Richards. There wasn't anyone else who has not been sued by multiple women, including one case that was settled out of court? Bad choice.
— Lynne Popkowski (@pop_lynne) August 12, 2021
Variety reported Richards sent a memo to his co-workers at “Jeopardy” when the news went public.
“These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. 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,’” Richards said in the memo, per Variety.
Others offered their congratulations to the new “Jeopardy!” co-hosts on Twitter:
No one can ever replace Alex Trebek. I think Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik are inspired choices. Good to see a highly intelligent woman hosting.
— Steven (@Steven88049308) August 12, 2021
What do you think of the new “Jeopardy!” hosts? Will you watch the upcoming new season and tournaments?