Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik to Succeed Alex Trebek as 'Jeopardy!' Hosts
By Jackie Willis
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Jeopardy!has found Alex Trebek's successors! After 37 seasons of Trebek being the face of Jeopardy!, the beloved CBS program announced that executive producer Mike Richards will be the permanent host. The announcement comes after months of guest co-hosts, including LeVar Burton, Ken Jennings, Aaron Rodgers and Katie Couric.
Additionally, Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, who also recently guest hosted Jeopardy! in June, will be hosting the primetime spinoff game show, Jeopardy! National College Championship.
"We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America’s Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of Jeopardy!," said Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures. “We took this decision incredibly seriously. A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show -- deservedly so because it’s Jeopardy! and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek. A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups, and got valuable input from our key partners and Jeopardy! viewers."
Ahuja said of having two hosts, “We knew early on that we wanted to divide the hosting responsibilities and it became very clear that Mike and Mayim were the undeniable choices. They were both at the top of our research and analysis. Mike is a unique talent, at ease behind the podium and a double threat as producer and host. Mayim has a wonderful energy, an innate sense of the game, and an authentic curiosity that naturally represents the Jeopardy! brand. We are excited to get to work with them both and are confident that they will carry on the legacy of this iconic show."
Richards and Bialik were equally excited. “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!,” said Richards. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode. Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love. I am thrilled that Mayim is joining the Jeopardy! team. Her academic track record and enthusiasm for the game made her a terrific guest host. It will be a privilege to produce the primetime series with her as host.”
The actress also said in a statement that she was "thrilled" to join the Jeopardy! family. “What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life!" she said. "I’m so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I’m just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony. After all the conversations we’ve had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started!"
Trebek died on Nov. 8, 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and not long after his death, ET's Kevin Frazier spoke with Richards, who said Trebek didn't mention anyone he wanted to replace him, but did offer up attributes he was looking for in a successor.
"Typical Alex. He was self-deprecating [and] said, 'It's not that hard.' Let me tell you that it is maybe the hardest show on TV to host; 61 clues in 22 minutes, accents, pronunciations, scoring, calling on people, ruling on the answers," Richards recalled. "He talked a lot about how it needs to be someone that the audience will respect, that's believable in the role [and] has credibility... He was so smart that you bought it, because you knew he knew the answer, too."
Jeopardy! is preparing to resume taping for a 38th season that is to premiere on Sept. 13, while Jeopardy! National College Championship will debut some time next year.