It goes without saying that the last few months have been tumultuous in the behind-the-scenes world of “Jeopardy!”
Given the recent drama, a question some people have had on their minds is how will the drama of the last few months impact the show’s television ratings. Will the show’s ratings decline? Will they remain steady? Or will they go up?
As fans are aware, the popular game show’s long-time respected host Alex Trebek passed away in November 2020. This, of course, left the show with the dilemma of replacing a legend. For months, the show was hosted by guest hosts.
These guest hosts included “Jeopardy!” legends like Ken Jennings. Journalists such as Katie Couric, Savannah Guthrie, and Robin Roberts also hosted. NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a chance to host. As did, actress and neuroscientists Mayim Bialik. Another guest host was Mike Richards. He was the show’s executive producer at the time.
Now, let’s jump to August 2021. It was early on during that month that the show announced that Mike Richards would be the host of the game show’s weekly syndicated episodes. It was also announced that Mayim Bialik would host the special primetime “Jeopardy!” events, such as tournaments.
Ratings On The Rise
However, it didn’t take long before the decision to have Richards host the show proved to be very unpopular. A major factor in this was that derogatory statements Richards reportedly made over the years came to light. News of lawsuits allegedly involving discrimination and harassment also came to light.
Fortunately for the long-running show, it appears that the drama of the last several months hasn’t really hurt the series. In fact, according to Decider, the show’s rating increased by six percent after Mayim Bialik took over from Mike Richards.
Bialik’s week as host also saw an increase in another area. The ratings of her episodes were also six percent higher than the ratings of the series at the same time the year before.
Mayim Bialik Described Herself as ‘Part of This Family’ as Host of ‘Jeopardy!’
This, unsurprisingly, put pressure on “Jeopardy!” and on Mike Richards. He eventually stepped down as host. He also ceased to be the show’s executive producer.
Following Richards’ exit as host, it was announced that Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings would serve as hosts as the search for a new host began once again. She was happy to step in to help the quiz show during this controversial time.
“Of course I was in touch with Mike as he was my boss at that time, and I don’t wish ill on him, or anyone. But the complexity of these situations is not something that can be summed up easily. My first response when all of this went down, was to say to the ‘Jeopardy!’ team: ‘How can I help?’ Because I am part of this family,” Bialik shared.