CULVER CITY, Ca. (WROC/AP) — Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik will host Jeopardy! shows that will air through the end of 2021, Sony Television officials announced Thursday.
According to a press release, Bialik will serve as interim host for several weeks of episodes from September 20 through November 5. Afterward, Bialik and Jennings will split hosting duties as their schedules allow. No on-air auditions of other potential hosts were announced.
It was previously announced that Bialik would host new prime-time and spinoff series, including a new college championship. Jennings, the record-holder for the longest “Jeopardy!” winning streak, is a consulting producer on the show.
Thursday’s announcement comes after Mike Richards was ousted as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” days after he exited as the quiz show’s newly appointed host when past misogynistic and disparaging comments surfaced. Richards is also no longer an executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune,” according to a memo to staff that was confirmed by Sony, which produces both of the shows.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened,” said Suzanne Prete, a Sony executive, in the memo.
Alex Trebek, the beloved national icon and longtime host,l died last November of cancer. “Jeopardy!” had a series of guest hosts, including Richards, taking turns at the lectern this past season for shows filmed after his death. They included LeVar Burton, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and Dr. Oz. Donations of nearly $3 million—equaling contestant’s cumulative winnings—were made to each host’s preferred charity.