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“Jeopardy!” has abandoned its initial idea to return to a string of guest hosts in the wake of Mike Richards’ ousting, opting instead to let Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings take over for the remainder of the year.
Sony Pictures Television confirmed to Fox News that Bialik will host several weeks of shows starting Monday that will air through Nov. 5. After that, she and Jennings will split hosting duties as their respective schedules allow.
Sony Pictures Television announced Richards as its first choice to replace Alex Trebek. However, when he was stepping down after inappropriate comments he made on a podcast resurfaced, the company said it would return to a revolving door of guest hosts while it looked for a replacement. Now, the new announcement means those plans have gone out the window.
Bialik is an obvious choice to fill in given that, when Richards was initially announced as the new guest host, the “Call Me Kat” star had also had been tapped to host an upcoming crop of spinoff and special event games such as ABC’s “Jeopardy! National College Championship.”
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings were previously tapped to be the new hosts of ‘Jeopardy!’
(Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images — Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
In August, shortly after Richards stepped down, “Jeopardy!” announced that Bialik would temporarily take over regular season play. She was announced as taping three weeks of episodes ahead of the announcement of more guest hosts.
The idea for guest hosts happened while Richards was still acting as an executive producer on the show. However, he was soon fired from his position and now it seems plans to restart the guest host search were in flux until Bialik and Jennings were tapped.
Jennings is also an obvious front-runner as a replacement host. Not only is he still the record-holder for most consecutive wins and total earnings, but he was the first person the show turned to as a guest host in 2020 following the death of longtime game helmer, Alex Trebek.
What followed was more than a year of guests filling the spot before Richards was ultimately named the host. The announcement of Bialik and Jennings as his replacements comes in the midst of Richards’ first and final week as the host of the show, which he filmed before his time behind the podium ended in scandal.
Richards had pre-taped five episodes of “Jeopardy!” before stepping down as host. Those episodes could not be reshot or redone without sacrificing the integrity of the game as well as current champion Matt Amodio’s winning streak.
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