The choosing of a successor for the late and great Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek should’ve been a simple affair. Picking the host for one of the cleanest and longest-running game shows on TV should’ve been a safe, uncontroversial affair.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t. After auditioning a few different hosts, including Aaron Rodgers and Levar Burton, the job ultimately went to executive producer Mike Richards, who was also an instrumental voice in the selection process.
Fans cried foul and Richards was fired after some untoward comments he made on a podcast came out, and also the fact that no one seemed to want him to have the job but himself.
Now it seems like Jeopardy! is ready to move forward as it announced that Mayim Bialik, 45, and Ken Jennings, 47, will host the show through the end of season 38, which will take the show into the end of 2022.
“We are delighted to let you know that Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will continue to share hosting duties through the end of Jeopardy! Season 38, and Michael Davies will remain as executive producer. We’re so pleased to have such an excellent and experienced team in front of and behind the camera as we head into 2022!,” Sony Pictures Entertainment said in a statement on Dec. 8.
The two hosts were had already been splitting hosting duties since September, and Bialik became a more regular host after Richards left the show.
Bialik is an actress known for her role in the ’90s sitcom Blossom and the super popular syndicated sitcom The Big Bang Theory. She’s also a real-life neuroscientist and was a favorite of many when the show was auditioning. However, others called for her to be fired from the show due to previous controversial statements.
Jennings became a Jeopardy! star when he won 74 games in a row, solidifying his place in Jeopardy history. However, he originally lost out on his own hosting role due to Tweets he had previously made.
Trebek passed away in November of last year after a bout with pancreatic cancer. Since then, many have said that the fiasco of finding a new host disrespects Alex Trebek’s wishes including former champion Arthur Chu.
“I was rooting for Ken Jennings as host out of solidarity as a fellow former contestant, and because it really seems like he was Alex Trebek’s choice for a successor, hence Trebek giving him his cufflinks and having him narrate his audiobook,” Chu said. “I don’t have strong opinions on it other than that I think there’s some clear signs Alex Trebek’s preferred successor was Ken Jennings and it would have been more respectful to abide by his wishes.”
Jeopardy! airs weekdays on ABC networks. Check local listings for times.