As “Jeopardy!” navigates the chaos surrounding its quest to name a new host, the show has found a temporary solution.
Mayim Bialik, a neuroscientist and actress known for her role as Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory,” will host 15 episodes of the quiz show, Sony Pictures Television said in a statement to the Deseret News on Monday.
The news comes three days after Mike Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” who was named to be Alex Trebek’s successor, resigned as host after past controversies — including his “offensive language” and disparaging remarks about women’s bodies on a podcast — resurfaced in a report from The Ringer.
“Over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show,” Richards said in a statement on Friday.
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on ‘Jeopardy!‘ as we look to start a new chapter,” Richards continued. “I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to ‘Jeopardy!’ over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”
Production for the new season of “Jeopardy!” began Aug. 19. After presumably filming with Richards that day, the show canceled production on Aug. 20. Now, Bialik will be the first person to fill in as host following Richards’ departure from “Jeopardy!”
In addition to hosting 15 episodes (three weeks’ worth of shows), Bialik will also host primetime and spin-off specials of “Jeopardy!” — including the “Jeopardy! National College Championship” that will air on ABC next year, the Deseret News reported.
Bialik previously hosted two weeks of “Jeopardy!” in the spring — one of 17 guest hosts to fill in following Trebek’s death from pancreatic cancer.
“This is one of the most iconic things that I can be part of in my life,” she continued. “Of all the things I’ve done, of all the acting I’ve done, of all the advocacy I’ve done, and all my academic things, this is the most globally understood, absolutely incredible thing to be part of. It’s unbelievable.”
Bialik is reportedly being considered for the role of permanent host, according to CNN. Other fan favorites, like Ken Jennings and LeVar Burton, have also expressed interest in hosting full-time, the Deseret News reported.
In the meantime, as “Jeopardy!” continues to move forward, the show will announce additional guest hosts, Sony Pictures Television told the Deseret News on Monday.
When does the new ‘Jeopardy!’ season begin?
The 38th season of “Jeopardy!” will begin Sept. 13, according to the “Jeopardy!” website.
The season will see the return of contestant Matt Amodio, who has become the third-highest winning contestant during the show’s regular season, behind “Jeopardy!” greats Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, the Deseret News reported.
Why are there ‘Jeopardy!’ reruns?
During the offseason, “Jeopardy!” is airing classic episodes with Trebek, who helmed the show for 36 years.
- Aug. 23 — Journey Through Israel (first aired Nov. 23, 2009)
- Aug. 24— Galápagos Wildlife (first aired Dec. 9, 2009)
- Aug. 25 — Operatic Costumes: The Met (first aired Nov. 9, 2011)
- Aug. 26— Petra (first aired Nov. 14, 2011)
- Aug. 27 — National Museum of African American History and Culture (first aired Feb. 6, 2017)
“Jeopardy!” previously shared these episodes — which first premiered between 2009 and 2017 — over the holiday season in December, about a month after Trebek’s death from pancreatic cancer, the Deseret News reported.