The “Daily Double” hosting will continue.
“Jeopardy!” announced Wednesday that Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik will remain as the beloved quiz show’s permanent hosts, ahead of its 39th season, which begins taping in early August and returns in September.
Jennings will host episodes of the syndicated quiz show that air through December, along with November’s Tournament of Champions, while Bialik will host other tournamentsand a new “Celebrity Jeopardy” series that will air Sundays on ABC this fall.
Executive producer Michael Davies said in the announcement, “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.”
Davies continued, praising the pair as “outstanding hosts at the beginning of their Jeopardy! hosting careers.”
When Bialik takes over the daily show fin 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 (Fox’s) ‘Call Me Kat,'” Davies said, adding, “We know you value consistency, so we will not flip flop the hosts constantly and will keep you informed about the hosting schedule.”
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When Alex Trebek died following a battle with pancreatic cancer nearly two years ago, producers lined up a series of celebrity guest hosts, made up mainly of news personalities and former contestants, to finish the 2020-21 season.
Bialik, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, and Jennings, who tops the game show’s leaderboard for consecutive victories and largest regular-season winnings, were among the guest hosts. Sony Pictures Television eventually selected executive producer Mike Richards, who resigned less than two weeks later due to controversy over past remarks and unrest among the show’s staff. Bialik and Jennings were tapped to split hosting duties for Season 38.
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Bialik enthusiastically embraced the idea of finding a permanent place at the “Jeopardy!” podium during a May 2021 interview about her guest hosting gig.
For me personally, and academically speaking, this is a really, really, really lovely place that I felt so comfortable, and was really honored to be part of it in any way,” Bialik said. “But obviously feel very strongly that if people find me tolerable, this is a dream job.”
Jennings, the first of the “Jeopardy!” guest hosts to fill in for Trebek, expressed how bittersweet taking the game show podium would be in a December 2020 interview.
“I don’t want to have it because it means we don’t get Alex,” Jennings said. “It’s just sad for me to go out there, in a way, because I know that, like the audience, I wish it was Alex walking out at the top of the show.”
Still, the show must go on, Jennings acknowledged. “‘Jeopardy!’ (is) a ritual for people,” he says. “People rely on it.”
Jennings sits in the top spot of the series’ Leaderboard of Legends for consecutive games won (74, set in 2004) and highest winnings earned during regular-season play ($2,520,700). In January 2020, he triumphed in “Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All Time” tournament, beating out James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter, and earning the title of G.O.A.T.
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