Jeopardy!'s producers aren't completely out of the woods yet, following a hosting controversy that led to a backlash-inspired exit from executive producer and one-day host Mike Richards, but the game show has revealed its newly revised hosting plan, which is planned to last throughout the rest of 2021. As of this writing, Jeopardy! is bringing mega-champ and previous guest host Ken Jennings back to the stage to trade off on hosting duties with The Big Bang Theory vet Mayim Bialik throughout at least half of the current new season.
Following Mike Richards' exit from his one afternoon of hosting duties, which he'd been confirmed to share with Mayim Bialik, Jeopardy! revealed that Bialik would return for more than just primetime specials. In fact, the announcement revealed she'll be filming episodes that take her all the way to Friday, November 7. Barring any off-times in there, that amounts to seven weeks' worth of new episodes with Bialik behind the podium. After that, she and Ken Jennings will split hosting duties, and it will all come down to scheduling and making sure someone is available to lead things.
Previously, Jeopardy!'s BTS team claimed their revised plan was to have Mayim Bialik serve as a temporary replacement for the daily episodes, with a new round of guest hosts to be announced later. (So many hopes and dreams for RuPaul to get a shot.) That could technically still be the goal when it comes to episodes filmed in 2022, though one would assume the producers aim to have a permanent host solution figured out by the time the holiday season rolls around. And hopefully one that won't make the fanbase want to burn down the Internet.
Ken Jennings was an early favorite to take over hosting duties in the wake of Alex Trebek's death, and his weeks behind the podium were some of the highest-rated and most enjoyed guest-hosted episodes. It's not quite clear if he was ever a front-runner for the position, though, since Mike Richards temporarily secured the position without much talk of the other guest hosts. (Beyond Bialik, of course, who was co-hired to host primetime specials and other non-traditional episode formats.)
But Jennings hasn't entirely won over the fanbase, either, given how much attention went to some offensive tweets from years ago that were brought out again to set him in a negative light. He echoed his previous apologies over them, though it remains to be seen how impactful those apologies were.
After Mike Richards' episodes are complete, Jeopardy!'s new season will continue on Monday, September 20, so be sure to check your local listings to see when and where the syndicated game show is playing in your area. And keep up with all the new and returning shows hitting the small screen soon with our 2021 Fall TV schedule.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.