Some “Jeopardy!” crew members are reportedly pulling for Mayim Bialik to assume the mantle of legendary “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, calling her “gracious, warm and smart.” Plus, production sources say Bialik is “refreshing” after all the drama of the Mike Richards fiasco.
It’s the little things that have endeared Bialik to members of the “Jeopardy!” team. For instance, Bialik apparently bought vanilla and Oreo cupcakes for her colleagues from a local bakery the other day, the Daily Mail reports. And she has done her best to bring calm to the iconic show after all the turmoil of Richards’ hiring and subsequent resignation.
“Mayim is gracious, warm and smart,” a source told the Daily Mail. “And [interim executive producer] Michael [Davies] is a diligent leader who is focused on producing a show for the viewers.”
‘Jeopardy!’ Crew Is Relieved to Have Bialik and Davies As Leaders
Production sources told the Daily Mail that they’re hoping Bialik will land the full hosting gig on “Jeopardy!”. They’re also praying Davies will find a way to balance his work for Embassy Row, his production company, with his executive producer duties on “Jeopardy!.”
“It is such a refreshing change to what life was like on set with Mike Richards, who made it all about Mike Richards,” the Daily Mail’s source added of the duo’s leadership.
In 2019, late host Trebek came down with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He fought a valiant battle against the disease, continuing to tape “Jeopardy!” episodes through much of his treatment. He died on Nov. 8, 2020, surrounded by family.
Richards was reportedly not among Trebek’s preferred successors. Still, after a season packed with celebrity guest hosts – some of whom were competing fiercely for the job – Sony executives announced that they had found Trebek’s replacement. It was none other than Richards, who had been helping to lead the search.
Fans, Former Contestants Had Revolted Over Richards
“Jeopardy!” fans, as well as former contestants, were unhappy with the choice. Then, after Richards, who also served as executive producer on the show, began to tape new episodes, news broke that he had been named in two employment discrimination lawsuits. Not long after that, excerpts of a podcast he had done suddenly surfaced.
The podcast excerpts revealed a brassy, confident Richards belittling his assistants in sexist terms. He also tarred a broad range of groups, including women, Jews, little people, Haitians and Asians, using derogatory language. Richards apologized, but he had recorded the podcast after the lawsuits emerged, and this evidently caused Sony executives to question his judgment.
Soon, Richards was out – first as host, then also as executive producer. His brief tenure in Trebek’s role was marred by drama and reports of staff dissatisfaction.
Now Bialik and Davies have a chance to right the ship. Looks like the “Jeopardy!” team is hoping they will.