Jeopardy! is an American TV trivia game show that we all know and love. Ever since its inception, Jeopardy! has been targeting families and good citizens of America. All of that changed recently and the show received some criticism from viewers. Ever since Alex Trebek’s passing, the producers of the show have been looking for someone to replace him as the new permanent host. It turns out that standing in Alex Trebek’s shoes is no easy task and you can’t get just anyone to fill this role.
After a short sabbatical, the producers decided that the show must go on and guest hosts will take over the position of the host for now. In the meantime, Mike Richards was appointed for the role of the permanent host. He was meant to take over until a scandal from his past came up to the surface. The network hoped that asking Richards to leave would clean Jeopardy!’s name, but it wasn’t as simple. Keep reading to find out who the new host of Jeopardy! is and what happened with Mike Richards.
Who Are the Hosts Replacing Alex Trebek?
In the beginning of August 2021, Jeopardy! announced that Mike Richards (then executive producer of Jeopardy! ) and Mayim Bialik (best known for her role in The Big Bang Theory) would be taking over the roles of permanent hosts of Jeopardy!. Only a few days later, it was revealed that Richards had made some derogatory comments on his podcast back in 2013. That caused a big stir in the community, leading to his resignation from the role of Jeopardy! new permanent host. You can read all about this controversy here.
A month later, it was revealed that Ken Jennings would join Mayim Bialik on the Jeopardy! stage and take the show through the end of the year. If you’ve been watching Jeopardy!, you probably recognize the name Ken Jennings. The man has an unbelievable winning streak of 74 games. In addition to that, he was a consulting producer on Jeopardy!. It seems as though this is a match made in heaven.
About Mike Richards
Mike Richards is a 46-year old former TV producer in America. Richards comes from the city of Burbank in California. He is best known for his time on Jeopardy, where he took on the role of the executive producer. He also worked on Wheel of Fortune for a short time.
Michael was offered the role of one of the hosts of Jeopardy! after Alex Trebek’s passing. He accepted, but was forced to step down not even a month later. Evidence regarding offensive and inappropriate comments he made on his podcast back in 2013 was uncovered only a few days after it was announced that Richards would host Jeopardy!. He admitted that the rumors were true. Following that, Richards stepped down as the show’s host in an effort to avoid giving Jeopardy! a bad name. His efforts were not successful and Jeopardy! still suffered some backlash.
About Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik is a 45-year old actress from San Diego, California. Mayim is best known for her role in The Big Bang Theory. She played a neuroscientist by the name of Amy. She initially gained popularity for her role on a ‘90s sitcom called Blossom.
Mayim was offered the role of Jeopardy!’s host and she accepted, which was announced in the beginning of August. She was supposed to share her hosting duties with Mike Richards, but that didn’t quite work out. Instead, she will be joined by Ken Jennings, a popular personality in the world of Jeopardy!.
About Ken Jennings
Ken Jennings is a 47-year old American author from the state of Washington. Jennings is known for holding the record for the longest winning streak in Jeopardy!’s history. He won 47 games, which is more than anyone else that came before or after him. He parlayed his Jeopardy! success into many other trivia game shows as well. After the scandal with Mike Richards, Ken Jennings was appointed as Mayim Bialik’s co-host on Jeopardy!.
Why Two Jeopardy! Formats?
The producers of the show made it very clear that they had the intention of hiring two hosts for Jeopardy!. One of the main reasons was because of scheduling conflicts. Mayim Bialik is in demand as a talented actress, which means she cannot dedicate all of her time to hosting Jeopardy!. The same went for Mike Richards, who was first appointed as her partner on the show. Supposing Mayim wouldn’t have been able to carry the bulk of the work all on her own, a second host was invited.
When Do the New Hosts Start?
Mayim Bialik was meant to start on the 20th of September. Currently, Mayim is the main host of Jeopardy!. Sony shared that she is only meant to fill in for the main host until the end of the calendar year. It is still unknown who will become the permanent host next year. I guess we will just have to wait and see! Who do you think would be a great Jeopardy! host? Let us know in the comments… but you can’t say yourself!
Why Did They Choose These Two Over the Others?
When Mike Richards was chosen as the new host of Jeopardy!, fans of the show were surprised. He was initially tasked with leading the search for a new host, so the fact that he offered himself was strange to say the least. Besides, Richards was always behind the scenes of the game show. At the same time, Mayim Bialik has a career in television, so her presence on the show is not as confusing to the fans.
When Richards was forced to step down as the show’s new host, Sony started the hunt for a new host once again. Obviously, Alex Trebek left big shoes to fill. Whoever the production chose would probably never live up to the standard set by Trebek. Nevertheless, there had to be a second host. Ken Jennings seemed like the obvious choice, as he had been affiliated with Jeopardy! in the past, so much so he’s written books dedicated to trivia and the show that could even be used as unofficial study guides. The man that holds the longest winning streak in the history of the show is probably the best host the production could find.
Who Were the Other Guest Hosts?
Since Alex Trebek’s passing, Jeopardy! had to adjust and invite guest hosts. Here is a list of all guest hosts that have come on the program this year:
Ken Jennings – January 11th – February 19th
Mike Richards – February 22nd – March 5th
Katie Couric – March 8th – March 19th
Dr. Mehmet Oz – March 22nd – April 2nd
Aaron Rodgers – April 5th – April 16th
Anderson Cooper – April 19th – April 30th
Bill Whitaker – May 3rd – May 14th
Buzzy Cohen – May 17th – May 28th
Mayim Bialik – May 31st – June 11th
Savannah Guthrie – June 14th – June 25th
Dr. Sanjay Gupta – June 28th – July 9th
George Stephanopoulos – July 12th-July 16th
Robin Roberts – July 19th – July 23rd
LeVar Burton – July 26th – July 30th
David Faber – August 2nd – August 6th
Joe Buck – August 9th – August 13th
Were They a Good Choice?
I think that every guest host has their own charm. There’s not been a host that I openly hated, though some were obviously better than others. Ken Jennings, for instance, is a clear winner in my mind. You can tell that he knows Jeopardy! better than any other guest host. Of course, he had the luxury of coming on the show as a contestant many times, which gave him an advantage over all the other guest hosts.
Despite the controversy, Mike Richards was a good guest host too. He knows the show well, so it is no wonder that he was able to whip up a great performance. Mayim Bialik deserves some praise too, as her presentation differed from the other hosts. She is a bit unconventional, but has enough star power to pull it off.
Are Contestants Who Appeared With Alex Eligible to Go on Jeopardy! Again?
The rules for contestants have not changed since Alex Trebek’s passing. Thus a contestant can go on the show several times. The only limitation arises during the application process. There are several tests that you need to go through if you want to appear on Jeopardy!. The Anytime Test and Jeopardy! Test can both only be taken once a year.
Even after Alex Trebek’s tragic passing, Jeopardy! is continuing to thrive. It will never be the same and there probably won’t be a host that will be as near and dear to our hearts as Alex. However, the current hosts are pretty cool too! The best thing about Jeopardy! is its consistency. The show hasn’t changed much since its inception and it continues to make viewers happy with the same high-quality content. We hope that the new hosts will make us proud and keep the viewing experience as good as it’s always been.
What do you think about the new hosts? Who was your favorite guest host this year? Let us know what you think about the whole situation in the comments below!
And if you’re looking for more behind-the-scenes scoop and insider information on the beloved television game show, check out our articles on weird and wild Jeopardy! scores and situations, behind-the-scenes facts about Jeopardy! tapings, how much money contestants really win, and more!