'Jeopardy!' Will Replace Alex Trebek With Two Permanent Hosts
Executive producer Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik step behind the podium going forward
Published Aug 11, 2021Following the late Alex Trebek's 36-year reign behind the podium of Jeopardy!, the long-running game show has announced Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik as its new hosts.
Today, Sony Pictures Television revealed that Richards — who is also the show's executive producer — will be the new permanent host of Jeopardy!, while Big Bang Theory star Bialik will host the show's primetime and spin-off specials.
Prior to today's announcement, both Richards and Bialik guest-hosted Jeopardy! for two-week periods, beating out a rotating cast of hopefuls including viewer favourite LeVar Burton and previous Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings. Sony Pictures also announced that Jennings will serve as a consulting producer on the show.
Richards told numerous media outlets that he came to host the show after other plans for an intended guest host had fallen through. However, a report from The Ringer cited two sources close to Jeopardy! who say that Richards insisted on hosting himself in spite of producers telling the planned host they could work around the planned host's scheduling conflict.
Following early reports of his new hosting duties last week, Richards addressed discriminations lawsuits he was implicated in from his time on The Price Is Right, where he was co-executive producer/executive producer for over a decade.
Ravi Ahuja, Sony Pictures' chair of global TV studios and corporate development, shared that "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," in making their decision.
"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," Ahuja said.
"Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show," Richards shared in a statement. "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 couldn't be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family," Bialik added. "What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumour 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!"