Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings Become Official Co-Hosts of 'Jeopardy!'
By Jessica Vacco-Bolaños and Mona Khalifeh
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The question as to who will host Jeopardy! moving forward has finally been answered. In a press release from Jeopardy! EP Michael Davies, it was announced that the show has closed and signed deals with Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik to be the permanent hosts of Jeopardy!.
In his note, Davies shared his excitement at bringing the pair on as permanent hosts, and the impact they've made on the long-running game show since stepping in to host last year.
"The fact is, we have so much Jeopardy! to make, and so many plans for the future, that we always knew we would need multiple hosts for the franchise, and we are just so grateful that Mayim and Ken stepped in and stepped up to put the show in a position to succeed. And succeed it has. With Mayim and Ken hosting, the show is considerably up in viewership year over year, with more than 27M viewers tuning in each week this season," Davies wrote in his note about the future of the show. "When you consider that almost every other show in broadcast television and syndication is declining, this has been a quite remarkable season: we’re the most-watched entertainment show on all of television. Yes, all of television."
Davies also shared the plans for the show's upcoming season, which will see Jennings kicking off the season in September with the inaugural Second Chance competition and Tournament of Champions, with Bialik returning to host Celebrity Jeopardy! in December.
"In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts at the beginning of their Jeopardy! hosting careers, who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the traditional Jeopardy! viewer. Ken will kick off the season in September, host the inaugural Second Chance competition and the heavily anticipated Tournament of Champions featuring Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Ryan Long, and many, many more. His initial hosting run will take us through December. In the meantime, Mayim will host Celebrity Jeopardy! on ABC in primetime," he explained, noting that when she takes over for Jennings in January, Bialik will host a couple of new tournaments, and as many weeks of the show as she can manage while keeping to her acting commitments on her show, Call Me Kat.
"When she takes over from Ken in January, the current plan is to have her host a couple of new tournaments as well as the Jeopardy! National College Championship and as many weeks as she can manage with her other primetime commitment to Call Me Kat," Davies continued. "We know you value consistency, so we will not flip flop the hosts constantly and will keep you informed about the hosting schedule."
Calling the pair "lovely humans," Davies applauded Jennings and Bialik for their support of the show, the staff and each other, before adding that he and the show's staff are honored to work alongside them.
To cap off the lengthy release -- which included a breakdown of the show's repeats, which will air over the next weeks, a daily highlight reel, airing on the show's website and on social media, as well as announcing a weekly Inside Jeopardy! podcast -- Davies made an oath to focus on improving the show and supporting its two new, permanent hosts.
"To conclude, I want to congratulate both Mayim and Ken. They have both been a joy to work with. They have my commitment, my producer oath, that I will focus on nothing but improving the show around them so that they can do their best work and approach every day in the studio with excitement and energy," he added. "And speaking of, we’re back in the Alex Trebek Stage on Monday. I simply can’t wait."
It was announced in September 2021 that Bialik and Jennings would host the game show through the calendar year. The news came shortly after Mike Richards -- the show's former executive producer who was initially named as Alex Trebek's successor after the longtime host died in 2020 -- stepped down as host after apologizing for making sexist comments about women in his past.
In March, Bialik spoke to ET about what an honor it is to host the program in which she's "lived season to season, since I was about 13 years old."
“I think being a female is its own mark,” she explained. “My grandparents were immigrants to this country, so I think for me, being in two generations -- being a woman and a host in that iconic role blows my mind.”
Bialik noted that there's no one who could replace Trebek, who hosted the show for 37 seasons from 1984 until his death in 2020. "I got to meet them when we dedicated the stage and just feel so humbled around them,” she said of Trebek's family. “I want to only honor. You can’t match him, so there’s no need to try, but do it continuously, and have their blessing and feel what they are doing is supporting that legacy."
While Bialik loves her current hosting gig, she revealed to ET in May that it also comes with it's own set of challenges. "You know, sometimes I’ll say things and I’ll be like, ‘How did that come out of my mouth and why?' but that’s sort of me in life in general,” she shared.
"Alex did not want Jeopardy! to end, the show's got tens of millions of fans, Jeopardy! needed to call somebody up and I got the letter in the mail and I [will] serve the privilege of Jeopardy! [host] for as long as they need me," Jennings, a former Jeopardy! contestant, said. "I spoke to [Trebek] shortly before he passed actually and he was very confident that I could do it. He just kind of took it for granted and I was like, 'Alex, that is very sweet but you know you are the best at that job,' but I appreciated his trust."