Ken Jennings is getting another shot behind the Jeopardy! podium, as the popular quiz show’s most successful contestant has been tapped to share hosting duties with Mayim Bialik for the remainder of 2021, Variety reports. However, this is not a permanent solution as Sony Pictures is still trying to find Alex Trebek's replacement.
Of course, this constantly changing situation for Jeopardy! comes after executive producer Mike Richards was originally tapped to be the permanent daily Jeopardy! host following the run of guest hosts, while Bialik was announced as the host for primetime and spinoff specials. However, Richards’ tenure was short lived (the last of the five episodes he filmed as host will air on Sept. 17) after his involvement in past discrimination lawsuits and disparaging comments toward women were uncovered. Richards initially stepped down from hosting and was ultimately let go of his position as executive producer for Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
So, starting Sept. 20 Mayim Bialik will take over as the host of Jeopardy! and handle the daily shows through Nov. 5. At that point, Variety reports that she and Jennings will alternate depending on availability schedule (Bialik stars in the Fox sitcom Call Me Kat) for tapings that will get them through the rest of 2021.
Jennings was an early favorite to take over for Trebek and was the first guest host of Jeopardy! following the final episodes with Trebek aired. However, Jennings also has some history with insensitive comments, as he apologized before he started his initial guest hosting gig for past tweets he had sent out. Perhaps this is another chance for him to make his case as guest host, or the show is simply going to an established presence familiar with the Jeopardy! legacy.
In addition to Bialik, Jennings and Richards, guest hosts for Jeopardy! since the passing of Trebek have included LeVar Burton, Robin Roberts, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Joe Buck, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos, Buzzy Cohen, David Farber, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Aaron Rodgers.
Maybe a permanent host will be named so that when the calendar turns to 2022 they can usher in a new era of Jeopardy!
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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