Ken Jennings & Mayim Bialik will host ‘Jeopardy’ for the rest of 2021

ABC Television's TCA Winter Press Tour 2020

It’s been quiet-ish around Jeopardy for two weeks. It was at the end of August that Mike Richards was finally fired from Jeopardy, and that only came after Sony bent over backwards to accommodate Richards, a man with a history of gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, sexism, racism and anti-Semitism. They even hired a minder for Richards in case he blurted out something sexist. In the end, the Jeopardy crew and the general public were like “no more.” Instead of heading into another audition process, Sony has been treading water for a few weeks, looking at all of their options and trying to figure out just how much damage they did to one of jewels in their syndicated crown. And so Sony has made a decision: for the rest of the year, they’re just going to have Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings host.

“Jeopardy!” won’t be going back to its revolving door of guest hosts after the quick exit of Mike Richards — TMZ’s learned it’ll be Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings for the rest of 2021. Sony production sources tell us the quiz show is going to keep it semi-consistent from here on out — at least for this year — with Mayim on hosting duty for more than half of the episodes, and Jennings shooting a few weeks worth of episodes.

We’re told execs have not decided about next season yet, but are still searching for a full-time, permanent replacement for Alex Trebek, and as we’ve told you … Mayim still seems to be the frontrunner.

When Richards stepped down as host, he suggested — in an internal memo to staffers — “Jeopardy!” would return to a series of guest hosts. However, he was also ousted as Executive Producer less than 2 weeks later … so it’s clear his plan no longer carried weight.

As you know … Richards was tapped to replace Trebek on the syndicated daily version of the game show, but controversial comments he made years ago on his podcast resurfaced shortly afterward, and he quit after shooting just 5 episodes.

Similarly, while former champ Jennings is still guest hosting, we’re told he’s not seen as a real contender for the permanent gig … due to past controversial tweets. Meanwhile, LeVar Burton’s still out there … but Sony honchos already decided he’s not their guy. We’ve reached out to Sony, so far, no word back.

[From TMZ]

I think this is an okay temporary solution, just because Sony doesn’t want any more drama, and the public needs a few months off to forget about this utter debacle. Ken and Mayim are both massively problematic so I hope neither of them gets the “permanent host” gig. I wonder why, even now, Sony is so hellbent on NOT hiring LeVar Burton? That dude is an angel.

mayim jeopardy3

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Jeopardy IG.

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50 Responses to “Ken Jennings & Mayim Bialik will host ‘Jeopardy’ for the rest of 2021”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    It’s obvious that Mayim was their second choice so why don’t they just give her the show? I think I know the answer and it’s not because she is/was an anti-vaxxer.

    • Oh_Hey says:

      And why couldn’t it be that?
      ICUs are full to the point that vaxxed folks are dying of heart attacks and other serious but survivable issues. It could be sexism but it could also be that she’s just terrible. For example aside from the vaxx issue she has a whole book and a NYT article that go in depth on how SA victims should be blamed for their assaults because of how they dress or who they hang out with.

      A real gem there.

      • Amy Bee says:

        @OH_HEY: She’s got the part time gig so it’s clear that Sony doesn’t care about her anti-vaxxer stance. She said got the covid vaccine btw.

    • Merricat says:

      What could it be, Amy Bee? Let me search my brain for possible reasons that Mayim Bialik will never be more than a part-time Jeopardy host.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I read she was their first choice but she has that I am Kat show (not that good but I adore Leslie) and wouldn’t commit to full time. I really don’t like Ken Jennings(I know I am in the minority) I really think it should be Lavar Burton. He is the fan choice. Alex Trebek wanted Laura Coates & she wasn’t even given a guest spot. They made a mess of this & jeopardy is a blood sport in my house

      • Merricat says:

        Interesting, if actually true (on their part; I absolutely believe you). Blood sport jeopardy is hilarious.

      • DogMom says:

        You’re not alone, Snappyfish; I don’t like Ken Jennings either!

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        LeVar came out in a slap back on Twitter (responding to some “journalist” where LB said: “F*ck around and find out” in response lol) and that he really does NOT want to host, that something else has come up due to that exposure that he is much more interested in doing.

        I will always love LB. His Reading Rainbow shows were my salvation in my teaching years; I’d tape them all and show one every day after lunch, (to calm the kids down and expose them to all the different books), I have to accept he knows best as to what he wants to pursue, and J! isn’t it.

        Frankly, I don’t think Alex Trebek has a following act, and Jeopardy will not go on much longer after this, that viewership will wane quickly after the “new host” viewing wears off. Alex WAS Jeopardy. Can’t replace that magic.

  2. BlueSky says:

    I mean anything to not hire a POC for this gig. They will probably end up giving it to Jennings because of course they will. Alex Trebek wants proposed Laura Coates as a replacement but since she’s a black woman that is never going to happen

    • Debbie says:

      So the Jeopardy people FINALLY fired the guy who said racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic things. Instead, they went with the utterly bland looking guy who once remarked that “There’s nothing sadder than a hot looking person in a wheelchair.” Yeah, they were NEVER going to go with anyone who didn’t look a certain way.

  3. Zaftig&Kitty says:

    I nominate Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi, and Clancy Brown. Ooh, also Lance Henriksen!

  4. Angelica Schuyler says:

    It’s so ridiculous that they haven’t hired Levar Burton. It would just KILL them to hire a black host…..A person that is so beloved that the fans started a petition just for him to be considered…

    Just saying…

    • CanukFoodie says:

      SO.THIS!!! Why have they not hired him….its just beyond friggen ignorant!

    • Mel says:

      I watched his week with high hopes. He just wasn’t good. He was stiff and slow with responses. I wouldn’t hire him, but if Robin Roberts or Sanjay Gupta could be convinced to give up their day jobs, I’d say hire one of them, they were great!

      • Kristen says:

        I agree that while LeVar Burton is an amazing human, and wonderful at some things, he’s not a good fit for this. I honestly don’t think he would’ve ever even considered it for himself had fans not really, really pushed for it.

      • teecee says:

        In the article that exposed the whole Mike Richards scandal, the reporter also revealed that while other hosts got weeks to film their episodes, Burton was forced to film all of his episodes in the same day, which didn’t give him a chance to get used to the job. Richards also intentionally scheduled Burton against the Olympics AND was the person who chose what tapes to send to the focus groups. Levar did not get a fair shot.

      • North of Boston says:

        Teecee, that’s what I heard as well.

        Richards was also the primary person giving LB direction/feedback during rehearsals and the person on his earpiece during the actual tapings.

        MR has shown the world he is a jerk who doesn’t like a fair playing field, will punch down and doesn’t act in good faith when his ego and personal ambitions are involved.

        Confronted with a guy who is a POC and the fan favorite? I can easily see how the manipulative and ambitious and bigoted man MR has been exposed to be could use his position, influence, access to rehearsals and tapings to undermine LB’s performance.

  5. Noki says:

    OMG less time has been spent choosing the Pope.

  6. Moira's Rose's Garden says:

    Ugh. Still can’t wrap my head around how they choose two mysoginistic, racists men to follow Alex Trebek. (Ken Jennings being only slightly less problematic than Mike Richards for the simple fact that he wasn’t in a power position with a network.) Here’s to hoping that Ava DuVernay creates an awesome show for LeVar to host as an alternative for former Jeopardy watchers.

  7. elcta says:

    They sabotaged Levar. Gave him one week instead of 2 and his week the shows were pre-empted by the Olympics. I had every streaming service and cable plus a desire to see him and I couldn’t find it on Monday. Found it on Tues on an extra network channel labeled as MASH. I enjoyed his delivery, his pacing had issues but one of his contestants was kind of a jerk and he would have improved if he was given the same amount of time

    • Jais says:

      Agree with this. They gave Levar one week during the olympics. Also felt there were pacing issues but believe he would’ve found his flow in the show. He’s beloved, non problematic, doesn’t have the gross statements that Jennings does, and was championed by a fan petition. The people in charge of jeopardy are gross AF if this is how it has gone down. The disrespect, my god.

    • equality says:

      That was also unfair to the charity that he chose when others got two weeks worth of earnings.

  8. josephine says:

    This. They rather have two problematic average hosts than a man that the fans clearly like and who can hit it out of the park. He’s exactly right, the man that taught kids to read, is classy, good-looking (if they are looking for that), and charming. I’m over Jeopardy. Truly don’t need to see it anymore. This is the problem with having a bunch of ancient gross white dudes in charge of everything. they don’t get it and don’t care that they don’t

  9. wordnerd says:

    Why does the new host have to be a celebrity? Why not start with a blank slate and cast a well-educated, affable nerd who we can all learn to love as much as Alex Trebek?

  10. equality says:

    I actually enjoyed having different hosts every couple of weeks and the money being given to charity. Did they run out of people willing to guest host?

    • Moira's Rose's Garden says:

      No, they probably couldn’t find anyone worse than Dr Oz or Katie Couric willing to take the challenge.
      That rotating guest hosts were designed to make Mike Richards look like the best choice.

  11. Skittlebrau says:

    It’s fascinating to watch this show snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. LeVar was a slam dunk.

  12. Kathy Kack says:

    It is racism with LeVar pure and simple. Do they not realize so many people would tune in to see him???!! It is racist clearly.

    • Moira's Rose's Garden says:

      It’s the same thought process that’s behind the voter fraud initative–the wishes of BIPOC and allies are seen as irrelevant.

  13. Grant says:

    I love LeVar Burton but he did not do a very good job when he was hosting. He was awkward, slow, and seemed very uncomfortable in my opinion. So I understand why he didn’t get the role. I would love for a black woman to get the role, someone like Abby Phillips. I know she just had a baby and a thriving journalism career but that is my head canon.

  14. beccab says:

    They should have gone with Laura Coates or Buzzy. He was really good.

  15. FHMom says:

    This is a great time to watch Jeopardy if you have at least a passing interest in it. Matt Amedeo is on a historic streak that is amazing to watch. To be honest, I really like Mayim. Ken can certainly handle the job, but his speaking voice is awful. Mayim really has everything needed for the job, although some people don’t like her for personal reasons.

  16. Valerie says:

    At this point, they’re just courting controversy, That’s not what Jeopardy is about. They could ask Alex’s picks and give them a chance to try out if they want to, but I guess that isn’t edgy enough.

  17. Betsy says:

    Or why not Laura Coates who Trebek wanted to succeed him?

  18. Lola says:

    Mayim Bialik is scum. It’s rare that I’m genuinely horrified by anything a celebrity said these days anymore. But when she was maligning c-sections and touting how superior she was for having a vaginal birth, she said something to the effect of “if a baby wouldn’t survive without a c-section, some people think it’s better that nature should just take its course.”

    That is the worst thing I’ve ever heard a mainstream celebrity say in my entire life. I truly think she is a sociopath. The point is that she should get fucked. Not host Jeopardy.

    Where is the black woman that Alex Trebek wanted to host? I’m over this bullshit. As far as I’m concerned the job belongs to that woman and I don’t even know who it is.

    • EnormousCoat says:

      For a scientist, she really does hold some anti-science opinions (she tries to couch the more controversial stuff with ‘Well, I don’t believe this, but others do’). And shes pretty anti-feminist as well, having preached modesty and modest appearance.
      But really, when Bialik and Jennings are the best you can come up with after you’ve had to do major damage control because a nasty little producer rigged the gig in favor of himself, well, you might just be screwed anyway. As someone who has worked in nonprofits for most of her professional life, succession planning anyone?

      • North of Boston says:

        They had a succession plan.

        Unfortunately it was put together by the Dick Cheney of game show producers, and all paths led to Mike Richards.

        Also unfortunately, Sony didn’t bother to check his work or insist on a Plan B.

      • Debbie says:

        There’s nothing wrong w/ modesty, generally. It’s the context in which she spoke out about it. If I remember correctly, Mayim B. wrote a column touting her own “modest appearance” and advocating for more women to follow her lead – in response to women coming out and saying that people like Harvey Weinstein had harassed or raped them during work meetings/events or auditions. Yeah. So, she was implying that if these women hadn’t dressed so provocatively, they would have been okay. Some brain, huh?

  19. Nic919 says:

    They need to bring in Louis Virtel as a host. He’s a former Jeopardy contestant and is part of the Keep it podcast from crooked media and he has the quick wit for it.

  20. Yonati says:

    Alex wanted Laura Coates. That’s good enough for me.

  21. Etherbunny823 says:

    I think Mayim Balik is the perfect choice. She can finally show off her big big brain a little bit, something I don’t think she does nearly enough of. The woman has a doctorate in neuroscience fgs

    • josephine says:

      well, she is hocking “brain” vitamins now, and mentions the Ph.D. then, so there is that. and she had that whole anti-vax stance that she put in writing and is now claiming she wasn’t really anti-vax, so she’s either really, really bad with the English language or really, really bad with being straight-forward. And then there’s the whole “let nature take its course” instead of having a c-section, apparently even for babies in distress, although, again, her stance there has been confusing. So I don’t know, she really does not seem so bright to me.

  22. paranormalgirl says:

    Done with Jeopardy. Can’t stand either one of them. When I stated this on another forum, I was told that I was “jealous” of Mayim Bialik’s PhD. Um, yeah, no. I have MD after my name, thanks very much. And years of education as well. I just don’t LIKE her. And Ken Jennings… misogynistic little twerp.