‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Are Trying to Figure Out Where Mayim Bialik Is

by Leanne Stahulak

For a hot second, “Jeopardy!” had a single, steady host at the podium that contestants and fans alike grew accustomed to. But now, Ken Jennings has stepped in for Mayim Bialik. When will she be back?

The short answer is, we’re not sure. But when “Jeopardy!” announced that Bialik would be guest hosting until Nov. 5, the game show did say that Jennings would step in then and that the two would “switch off” hosting until the end of the calendar year.

Jennings just hosted last week from Nov. 8 until Nov. 12. So, it’s possible that Bialik will return next week, with Jennings the week after that. But that type of “switching off” seems unlikely, when we know Bialik can’t host “Jeopardy!” because she’s filming Season 2 of “Call Me Kat,” her Fox TV sitcom. Because that filming will likely take several days in a row, we should assume that Jennings will return next week, on Monday, Nov. 15.

But here’s some good news for Mayim Bialik fans: we know she will return on Dec. 6 for the first-ever “Jeopardy!” Professor’s Tournament. Professors from 15 universities around the country will compete until Dec. 17 for a $100,000 grand prize. The winner also snags a spot in the upcoming Tournament of Champions.

According to Deadline, Bialik commended the professors in a statement released about the brand new tournament.

“It was an unbelievable thrill to see so many brilliant professors from all kinds of schools and backgrounds come together on the ‘Jeopardy!’ stage,” Bialik said in the statement. “There was a sense of kinship and academic camaraderie among the group, along with a healthy dose of competitiveness. That energy made this inaugural Professors Tournament incredibly special.”

Who’s Competing in the Inaugural ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Professors?

Earlier this week, FOX 17 out of Nashville, Tennessee, spoke with one of the 15 professors competing in the inaugural “Jeopardy!” Professor’s Tournament. The outlet sat down with Gautam Hans, an associate clinical professor of law at Vanderbilt University. Apparently, he’s a longtime “Jeopardy!” fan.

“I love the show. I loved Alex Trebek, he was such an icon,” Hans said. “People who become law professors were always probably nerds, and nerds are more likely to love Jeopardy.”

The fellow “nerds” joining Hans on the stage for the first showdown will be Hester Blum, an English professor at Penn State University, and Gary Hollis, a chemistry professor at Roanoke College.

Other professors competing in the tournament include J.P. Allen from the University of San Francisco, Sam Buttrey from the Naval Postgraduate School, Marti Canipe from Northern Arizona University, and Lisa Dresner from Hofstra University.

Then we have Ramón Guerra from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, John Harkless from Howard University, Ed Hashima from American River College, Alisa Hove from Warren Wilson College, and Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

And let’s not forget Katie Reed from California State University Fullerton, Deborah Steinberger from the University of Delaware, or Julia Williams from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.