Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik Officially Announced As New Jeopardy Hosts
What is: two Jeopardy hosts?
Sony Pictures Television confirmed on Wednesday that executive producer and previously revealed frontrunner Mike Richards will replace the late Alex Trebek as Jeopardy host. But in an unexpected twist, Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik is also set to serve as a permanent host.
Here's how it will work: Beginning with season 38, Richards will be the full-time host of the daily syndicated show, while Bialik will take on the role for Jeopardy's prime-time and spin-off series, including next year's Jeopardy! National College Championship.
"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," said Ravi Ahuja, chairman of global television studios and corporate development for Sony Pictures, in a statement. "They were both at the top of our research and analysis. Mike is a unique talent, at ease behind the podium and a double threat as producer and host. Mayim has a wonderful energy, an innate sense of the game."
The announcement of Richards and Bialik as hosts comes after an extended run of guest hosts following the death of Jeopardy stalwart Trebek in Nov. 2020. Among those to get behind the podium during that period were Richards, Bialik, Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, Robin Roberts, Dr. Mehmet Oz, LeVar Burton, and Ken Jennings, who will return to the show as a consulting producer.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family," said Bialik in a statement. "What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor 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!"
Richards has been facing controversy since news first leaked that he'd likely be the next host — the Jeopardy executive producer was named in a recently resurfaced discrimination lawsuit against his previous employer The Price Is Right. In 2012, model Brandi Cochran alleged the producers at FremantleMedia North America and The Price Is Right Productions discriminated against her for being pregnant. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Richards allegedly said, "Go figure, I fire five models. What are the odds one of the ones that I keep gets pregnant?"
Responding to the lawsuit in a memo sent to the Jeopardy staff this week, Richards declared, "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."
"I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!," said Richards in the statement announcing his promotion to host. "Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode. Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. 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."
He added, "I am thrilled that Mayim is joining the Jeopardy! team. Her academic track record and enthusiasm for the game made her a terrific guest host. It will be a privilege to produce the primetime series with her as host."
This story originally appeared on ew.com