Jeopardy names Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik as shows two new hosts – CNET

alextrebeck

Jeopardy host Alex Trebek can’t really be replaced in the hearts of his devoted fans, but his show must go on.


Jeopardy/Twitter

If no one person could ever replace beloved Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, how about two? Jeopardy Executive Producer Mike Richards has been named the regular host of the game show, and Mayim Bialik, who starred in Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, will host special episodes.  

Richards will start the game show’s 38th season on Sept. 13. Bialik’s first hosting gig will be the Jeopardy National College Championship. 

Both Richards and Bialik were among the guest hosts who took turns at the helm of Jeopardy in 2021 as the show tried out different contenders, ranging from former champ Ken Jennings to actor LeVar Burton and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. 

Richards has been a controversial rumored choice — Variety reported in early August that he was the show’s favorite, though other candidates were reportedly still in the mix. In addition to his history producing Jeopardy, Richards has hosted reality shows and game shows, though none as high-profile as Jeopardy. 

When the Variety story broke, reports about Richards’ time working on The Price Is Right resurfaced. During his time there, some models who worked for the show accused producers of discrimination and harassment. The Daily Beast obtained a memo sent by Richards to Jeopardy staff that reads, in part, “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.”

Jeopardy fans react

Jeopardy has loyal fans, and social reaction was immediate. The fact that Richards himself already worked on Jeopardy had some fans questioning why a months-long celebrity-host hunt was needed. And some spoke up for other guest hosts, with Star Trek actor Burton earning numerous mentions from disappointed supporters.

“After all that….. the Jeopardy exec producer just chose…….. himself lmaoooo,” said one Twitter user.

Said another, “They went through all of those guest hosts just so they could hire a good-old-boy producer from within… TYPICAL.”

Jeopardy has a long history. Iconic talk show host Merv Griffin created the game show back in 1964, and it stands out from other quiz shows because contestants are presented with answers, and must respond in the form of a question.

Longtime host Trebek died in November 2020 at age 80 from pancreatic cancer. Trebek wasn’t the first Jeopardy host, but he took over in 1984, and is the only host several generations remember. His last episode aired on Jan. 8, 2021, two months after his death, and just days before Jennings began his guest-host episodes.

The show is a powerhouse among game shows. Jeopardy has won 39 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, and many countries have created regional versions of the show. More than 8,000 episodes have aired.