'Jeopardy!' to Host First-Ever Professors Tournament

'Jeopardy!' invites college professors to compete in first-ever professors' tourney, hosted by Mayim Bialik.
'Jeopardy!' invites college professors to compete in first-ever professors' tourney, hosted by Mayim Bialik. (Image credit: Sony Pictures Television)

Jeopardy! will host its first-ever professors tournament starting Monday, Dec. 6 and running through Friday, Dec. 17, with Mayim Bialik hosting. 

Instructors from 15 colleges and universities will face off on the quiz show, produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed by CBS Media Ventures, until a champion finally emerges on Dec. 17. 

“It was an unbelievable thrill to see so many brilliant professors from all kinds of schools and backgrounds come together on the Jeopardy! stage,” said Bialik in a statement. “There was a sense of kinship and academic camaraderie among the group, along with a healthy dose of competitiveness. That energy made this inaugural Professors Tournament incredibly special.”

The following educators will compete for a $100,000 grand prize and a spot in Jeopardy!’s upcoming Tournament of Champions: 

— J.P. Allen, professor of business, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.

— Hester Blum, professor of English, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.

— Sam Buttrey, professor of operations research, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.

— Marti Canipe, professor of elementary science, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz.

— Lisa Dresner, associate professor of writing, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.

— Ramón Guerra, professor of English, literature and Latino studies, University of Nebraska-Omaha in Omaha, Neb.

— Gautam Hans, associate clinical professor of law, Vanderbilt Law School, Nashville, Tenn.

— John Harkless, associate professor of chemistry, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

— Ed Hashima, professor of history, American River College, Sacramento, Calif.

— Gary Hollis, professor of chemistry, Roanoke College, Salem, Va.

— Alisa Hove, professor of botany, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, N.C.

— Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, assistant professor of U.S. and African-American history, University of Colorado-Boulder in Boulder, Colo.

— Katie Reed, associate professor of musicology, California State University Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif.

— Deborah Steinberger, professor of French literature, University of Delaware in Newark, Del.

— Julia Williams, professor of English, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

Bialik was named host of Jeopardy! primetime specials in August. The Call Me Kat and Big Bang Theory actress moved into a guest-hosting position, along with Greatest of All Time player and consulting producer Ken Jennings, for Jeopardy!’s syndicated version after executive oroducer Mike Richards had to exit the show. Richards was briefly named the show’s permanent host but departed due to fan outcry when reports surfaced of him making offensive comments towards women in a podcast and being named in discrimination lawsuits, that were ultimately settled, when he was the executive producer of CBS’s The Price is Right

Also: Mike Richards Out as EP of 'Jeopardy!,' 'Wheel of Fortune'

Jeopardy! has been without a permanent host since Alex Trebek died of pancreatic cancer in November 2020.

Also: Remembering 'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek

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.