Mayim Bialik will fill in as host of Sony Pictures Television’s Jeopardy! for the first three weeks of season 38, the company said Monday. Bialik, star of Fox’s Call Me Kat and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, was recently announced as host of all upcoming Jeopardy! primetime specials and spin-offs, including a college tournament on ABC next year.
Bialik is stepping in to shoot 15 episodes -- or three weeks of new shows -- after Sony confirmed Friday that executive producer Mike Richards was stepping down from the permanent hosting position. Richards, who joined the show in September 2020 and guest-hosted last February, became the subject of intense social-media scrutiny after reports surfaced of employee complaints and discrimination lawsuits against him while he was executive producer of CBS’ network daytime game show The Price is Right.
In a memo to the show's staff on Friday, Richards said the controversy that had emerged since his appointment had become “too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.”
Going forward, Sony plans to go back to using guest hosts until a new permanent host is determined. Richards remains executive producer of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Prior to joining those shows, he executive produced The Price is Right and Let's Make a Deal, both of which are produced by Fremantle for CBS' network daytime. Richards also previously hosted game shows on Sony's Game Show Network.
Jeopardy! began being hosted by guest hosts last January after the death of the show’s longtime host, Alex Trebek, in November 2020. Guest hosts over the past year have included Ken Jennings, Jeopardy!’s greatest player of all time and a consulting producer on the show, as well as Bialik, Richards, Katie Couric, Savannah Guthrie, Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, LeVar Burton and many more.
Jeopardy! is produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed to TV stations by CBS Television Distribution.
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.
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