It looks like things are starting to settle down on the set of ‘Jeopardy!’ after a season that saw the death of its longtime host Alex Trebek and the long, drawn out search on-air to fill his spot that resulted in a pick that turned out to be a bad move.
Now, after naming actress Mayim Bialik and one of the show’s all-time winning contestant Ken Jennings to rotate as hosts for at least the rest of 2021, it has been announced that they will continue until the end of the season, which would conclude in July of 2022.
As Hollywood Reporter notes, the dual-hosting scenario will carry through much of next summer with new showrunner Michael Davies sticking around, too:
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings, who have been sharing hosting duties for season 38 following the Mike Richards debacle, will continue to serve in the same capacity into 2022. Producers Sony Pictures Television said Wednesday that the duo will remain hosts through the end of the syndicated game show’s current 38th season, which ends July 29.
Michael Davies, who has been serving as interim showrunner after Richards was fired after selecting himself as the replacement host for the late Alex Trebek, will also continue through season’s end.
This latest move brings some stability to the long-running syndicated game show after a tumultuous 2020-21 season that saw different celebrities and well-known contestants, along with Richards, take turns as host. A move that soon overshadowed the contestants.
After Richards was selected as the new permanent host in August, reports of misconduct and offensive comments resurfaced to a point where he became a distraction too big for him and Sony, the company behind ‘Jeopardy!,’ to overcome, leading to Richards stepping down as host. There were also rumblings that Richards, with his position and title on the show, had selected himself as host despite that he had stepped aside in the host selection process after putting himself in the hosting search.
As a result of the controversies, in late August, Richards was gone completely as both host and executive producer. He was also dropped from his role of EP for ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ His one day of taping for ‘Jeopardy!’ still aired in September to maintain a continuity of contestants and winnings.
Richards had served as EP for both ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel’ starting in 2019 after a long stint with similar duties at CBS’ ‘Price is Right.’
Now that Jennings and Bialik are sharing ‘Jeopardy!’ hosting duties for the rest of the 2021-22 season, there will not be a need for any more people to come in and audition as “Sony has no plans to test anyone else for the hosting role after the Richards-led parade of trial runs that many consider to have been performative in nature before the former EP ultimately selected himself for the role,” according to Reporter.
Bialik is still planning to host prime-time specials for ABC while juggling her other gig as the star and executive producer of the Fox sitcom ‘Call Me Kat.’
With her and Jennings staying put, not only will it give them more time to grow into their respective roles, but it will also bring some stability that show has been lacking since Trebek’s death.
Trebek died back on November 8, 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
As for the announcement of Trebek’s permanent replacement, not counting the botched move in the summer, that won’t come until next season.
Here is the tweet announcing the news for the rest of this season:
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Article Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter and Uproxx
First Picture Courtesy of Ron Batzdorff and Getty Images
Second Picture Courtesy of CBS Photo Archives and Getty Images