Jeopardy!: Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik named new hosts for game show series

Mike Richards to host syndicated Jeopardy! show, Mayim Bialik to host primetime & spinoff series

After a long and contentious search, a permanent host for Jeopardy! has been found! The show’s executive producer Mike Richards has been confirmed as the permanent host of the syndicated quiz show, succeeding the late Alex Trebek. In addition to Richards’s appointment, Sony Pictures Television announced that Mayim Bialik (Blossom, The Big Bang Theory) will host Jeopardy!’s primetime and spinoff series, including the upcoming Jeopardy! National College Championship, which is set to air on ABC in 2022. Ken Jennings (The Greatest of All Time) is returning as consulting producer for the show. In addition to his new position as the permanent host of Jeopardy!, Richards will continue to executive produce on Jeopardy! – both the syndicated and primetime series – as well as Wheel of Fortune.

“We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America’s Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of Jeopardy!, said Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures. “We took this decision incredibly seriously. A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s Jeopardy! and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek. A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups, and got valuable input from our key partners and Jeopardy! viewers.”

While Richards was confirmed as the new host of Jeopardy! a few weeks ago, his journey hit a stumbling block when the reemergence of lawsuits from his decade-long tenure as co-executive producer/executive producer on another game show, The Price Is Right, cropped up.

These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show,” he explained in a lengthy address. “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.”

Richards has been a popular choice to serve as Trebek’s replacement, though perhaps not as favored as LeVar Burton, who became a favorite to win the position among many. Unfortunately, online petitions don’t always lead to contracts being signed, and so Richards emerged as the victor of the contest.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!,” said Richards. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. 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.”

Thrilled by the outcome of the search for new hosts, Richards also welcomed Bialik to the Jeopardy! family. “I am thrilled that Mayim is joining the Jeopardy! team,” he said. “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.”

To which Bialik replied, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family,” Bialik said. “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!”

In addition to her iconic television roles, Bialik has a PhD in neuroscience. She is also gearing up to star and executive produce a new sitcom on Fox titled Call Me Kat. She also hosts the mental health podcast Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown. If you’re not already impressed with her accomplishments, Bialik also recently wrote and directed her first feature, As Sick As They Made Us, starring Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen. Wow! She’s certainly come a long way since Blossom, no?

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.