‘Jeopardy!’ Announces Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik as New Hosts
After the death of “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, the game show decided it wouldn’t take one – but two – people to fill his shoes.
The show announced Wednesday that Mike Richards, a television executive, will become the show’s regular host, and Mayim Bialik, an actress and neuroscientist, will take on the role for special prime-time episodes and spinoffs, which include a new college championship tournament. to air next year on ABC. The move ends months of speculation about the replacement for Trebek, who hosted the show for 36 years when he died of pancreatic cancer.
Bialik, who is known for her roles in the sitcoms “The Big Bang Theory” and “Blossom”, will be the first woman to be a permanent host of “Jeopardy!”
As executive producer of the show, Richards already has one of the main roles on the program and has been involved in strategizing for the show to continue beyond the Trebek era.
For over seven months, “Jeopardy!” tested over a dozen guest hosts, including Richards and Bialik. Some of the hosts were established TV personalities who seemed unlikely to take on the role of permanent host, like Anderson Cooper and Katie Couric. Others, like LeVar Burton and Ken Jennings, appeared to audition for the job as they presented clues and joked with the contestants on stage.
“A group of senior executives from Sony Pictures Television looked at the footage from each episode, reviewed research from several panels and focus groups, and obtained valuable feedback from our key partners and ‘Jeopardy! viewers, ”said Ravi Ahuja, a Sony executive, in a press release.
When Variety magazine ran an article last week saying Richards was the best candidate for the job, reactions were decidedly mixed; some on social media have expressed disappointment that an executive influencing the succession battle ends up being the winner. (Some have drawn comparisons to Dick Cheney, who was tasked with checking out George W. Bush’s possible running mates in 2000, only to take the job himself and become vice president.)
In an email to “Jeopardy! Staff that the show released to media earlier this week, Richards wrote that he was “humbled and deeply honored” when asked if he would consider hosting the show.
“The choice on this is not my decision and never has been,” Richards wrote. “Alex always believed that the game itself and the competition were the most important aspects of the series.”
The episodes of the new season, the 38th of the show, will begin on September 13.
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