Jeopardy! will officially be co-hosted by the tag team of Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings, executive producer Michael Davies confirmed Wednesday (July 27).
That the move was in progress was reported earlier this week but had not been officially confirmed by Davies, the show or producer Sony Pictures Television until now.
“I write today with the exciting news that we have closed and signed deals with Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings to be the hosts of Jeopardy! moving forward,” Davies wrote in a blog post on Jeopardy.com.
“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 27 [million] viewers tuning in each week this season. 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.”
Jeopardy! had been looking for a new permanent host since the death of Alex Trebek in November 2020. Jennings and Bialik have been co-hosting the show on a temporary basis since last fall.
Beyond sharing hosting duties on the syndicated strip, Bialik and Jennings will also host special events and primetime specials.
Jennings, who is Jeopardy!’s winningest contestant ever and a consulting producer on the show, will kick off the show’s 39th season in September as well as the inaugural Second Chance competition and the popular Tournament of Champions, which this season will feature such players as Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Ryan Long and more. Jennings will host through December.
In January, Bialik, who also stars in and executive produces Fox sitcom Call Me Kat, will take the reins. During her run, Bialik will also host “a couple of new tournaments,” according to Davies, as well as the Jeopardy! National College Championship.
In the final six weeks of summer, Jeopardy!, like most syndicated shows, airs repeats. This year, Davies said he and his fellow producers have “handpicked six weeks of some of our favorite episodes of the season, featuring our closest games, super-champions, and some of the people who will be announced as part of our inaugural Second Chance competition.”
Beyond the host announcement, Davies also made some news about what’s coming up for the long-running game show.
Starting Monday, Jeopardy! will release a daily three-minute highlight reel of the day’s episode on its website, across its social media and with its partner TV station affiliates.
Finally, the show is launching a new weekly podcast titled, “Inside Jeopardy!” that will be hosted by Davies and Jeopardy!’s producing team. Davies is an experienced podcaster, having co-hosted the soccer-focused “Men in Blazers” podcast since 2014. “Inside Jeopardy!” will kick off with an announcement of the returning players who will face off in the show’s inaugural Second Chance tournament. Davies will also “share my vision for Jeopardy!’s future, including new developments in the areas of pop culture and sports, plans for a Jeopardy! Honors awards show and my biggest and most passionately held idea: a Jeopardy! Masters league in primetime or on a streaming platform,” he wrote.
“Mayim and Ken are both extraordinarily talented and simply lovely humans. They support the staff and each other,” wrote Davies. “They love and respect this institution of a television program. In return, the staff and I are honored to work alongside them.” ■
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.