It is official now. Mayim Bialik is the temporary host of Jeopardy! after days of drama in the quiz show studio.
There is no doubt that replacing long-time host Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! after his death due to pancreatic cancer in November 2020 and 37 unforgettable years on air would have been tough, but nobody thought it could be this difficult and dramatic.
For quite some time, a series of special hosts were tested, Ken Jennings, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, Miyam Bialik, LeVar Burton, David Faber, Anderson Cooper, and Robin Roberts. In the end, Sony Pictures Television decided for Bialik to be the host of primetime Jeopardy! specials. On August 11th, they announced that Mike Richards, already executive producer of the show, would have been the host of the syndicated episodes of the quiz show.
This choice became problematic because Richards himself was on the hiring committee and in a way, he picked himself. In addition, it was discovered that he was the subject of two discrimination lawsuits. Richards was accused of “dismantling” the workplace on The Price is Right and of making disparaging comments about women. A former model who became pregnant accused him of making insensitive claims and taking questionable actions on the show regarding her status. She initiated a lawsuit against him. On the other hand, other colleagues both men and women defended him on that show.
Therefore, on August 20th, Richards stepped down both as host and a few weeks later as well as executive producer of the show.
Before stepping down, Richards had already taped some episodes of the show. They aired as planned in order to maintain continuity with the contestants. Bialik will tape 15 episodes to cover three weeks, when production resumes this week.