‘Jeopardy!’ details how Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will continue to share host duties
After several months of turmoil last year, life went back to normal at the iconic game show “Jeopardy!” when Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik split hosting duties for the 2021-22 TV season.
It worked well enough that on Wednesday, executive producer Michael Davies formalized the dual-host approach by officially announcing both will return to the Sony Television Pictures franchise for the new TV season starting in September. (The official announcement follows reports earlier this week that Jennings and Bialik would stay in their roles.)
“We are just so grateful that Mayim and Ken stepped in and stepped up to put the show in a position to succeed,” Davies wrote in a note to fans.
Davies said Jennings will be at the host lectern in September through December. Bialik takes over in January and also will host “Celebrity Jeopardy!” on ABC and “Jeopardy! National College Championship.” (Bialik has a second TV job, starring in the Fox sitcom “Call Me Kat.”)
Jennings and Bialik were brought in after a short-lived stint by the show’s previous host, Mike Richards, who took over after a well-publicized search that followed the November 2020 death of Alex Trebek, who had hosted the show since its launch in 1984.
Richards, who served as executive producer on the show, was picked after overseeing the host search – a move that agitated the fans of other big names competing for the job.
But Richards was forced to resign in August, shortly after production began on the 2021-22 season, following reports of a number of inappropriate comments he made on a podcast several years ago.
Jennings and Bialik, who were among the guest fill-ins, were brought back to handle the hosting duties after Richards departed. Davies took over his role as executive producer.
While the debacle surrounding the succession plan generated headlines and social media outrage, it didn’t lessen the show’s enormous popularity. “Jeopardy!,” which is syndicated on TV stations across the country and runs in various time slots, topped 9 million viewers throughout the past season, making it one of television’s most-watched nonsports shows.
The host controversy became a distant memory as viewers were transfixed by the performance of “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider, who won 40 consecutive games, a streak that ranks only behind Jennings’ run of 74 wins.