Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings to Share 'Jeopardy!' Hosting Duties

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split hosting duties on 'Jeopardy!'
Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split hosting duties on 'Jeopardy!' (Image credit: Sony Pictures Television)

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split hosting duties on access game show Jeopardy! through the end of the year, producer Sony Pictures Television said Thursday. 

Bialik’s run will start Monday, Sept. 20 and run through Nov. 5. After that, Bialik and Jennings will split hosting duties as their schedules allow, Sony said. Bialik, who stars on Fox’s Call Me Kat and played Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’ top-rated The Big Bang Theory, also has been tapped by Sony to host all Jeopardy! primetime specials and spinoffs. Jennings, who won 74 consecutive games of Jeopardy! and won $2.5 million in 2004, was named the greatest Jeopardy! player of all time in January 2020 after he won ABC’s Greatest of All Time (GOAT) tournament against Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer. Jennings serves as a consulting producer on the show.

Guest hosts began emceeing the iconic game show after the death of Alex Trebek in November 2020 of pancreatic cancer. Jennings was the first of these, followed by executive producer Mike Richards. 

Over the summer, Richards emerged as the leading candidate for the permanent host job, which he was then given in August. Backlash against the selection grew quickly after reports surfaced that Richards had been included in discrimination lawsuits, that were later settled, while serving as the executive producer of CBS’ daytime game The Price is Right. Website The Ringer also published a long story that uncovered derogatory comments Richards had made about women in a podcast he did in 2013. 

Richards stepped back from the hosting job earlier this month, and Sony ultimately fired him as executive producer of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. He had assumed those roles in September 2020 after longtime executive producer Harry Friedman retired. 

Jeopardy!, which is entering its 38th season in syndication, averaged a 4.1 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, in the week ended Sept. 5. It tied CBS’ Judge Judy to come in second overall for the season at a 5.2 live plus same day season to date household rating. 

Jeopardy! and its companion game, Wheel of Fortune, air in syndication on TV stations all over the country and on ABC-owned stations in top markets. It's distributed in domestic syndication by CBS Media Ventures.

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.