‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Call Out Show’s Subtle ‘On-Air Diss’ of Ken Jennings

by Shelby Scott

When the late Alex Trebek ran Jeopardy! before his tragic death in 2020, most of our attention was focused on the game show icon and its contestants. Together, they drove the popularity of the beloved TV show. However, Jeopardy! kicked off its 38th season on a low note. Following the departure of former executive producer and host Mike Richards, gossip and drama propelled the game show and its cast to the forefront. This time, Jeopardy! fans are calling out the long-running game show after its new icon and all-time game show champion, Ken Jennings, was hit with a subtle “on-air” diss.

Jeopardy!‘s 38th season concluded at the end of last month. Before then, fans of the long-running game show noticed a discrepancy between how its announcer had been introducing Jennings versus cohost Mayim Bialik.

Previous episodes of Jeopardy! saw its announcer, Johnny Gilbert, welcome Ken Jennings to the stage each time as “hosting Jeopardy!”

Comparatively, when Mayim Bialik walked onto the stage, the announcer introduced the Big Bang Theory alum as the “host of Jeopardy!”

Taking to social media, many fans were upset by the slight diss. Finally, though, during an episode of the game show’s all-new podcast Inside Jeopardy!, producers Michael Davies and Sarah Foss went behind the scenes of the apparent diss.

In speaking about the differences in scripts, Davies said, “Last season…we had a deal with [Mayim Bialik] as the host of Jeopardy! She did the primetime shows…Ken was guest host.”

Now though, both Davies and Foss shared that when season 39 airs, both TV stars will have the same announcement.

Foss concluded, stating, “Johnny Gilbert will announce [Jennings and Bialik] the same”—as “host.”

When Does ‘Jeopardy!’ Return for Season 39?

Now that we’ve sorted out Jeopardy!‘s hosting debacle, when can we expect the next brand new season to air?

Fortunately, we don’t have to long to wait as, somehow, we’re already rocketing through the first week of August. After airing the final episode of season 38 on July 29th, Jeopardy! premieres its next all-new season Monday, September 12th. So, just over a month to go!

Both Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik will return as cohosts this year. However, instead of switching off every few weeks, E! News states Ken Jennings will host the first block of the season, from September up through December. Bialik will then take over in December and hold out the rest of the season as host.

In addition to the growing franchise’s flagship competition show, both Jennings and Bialik will host a multitude of game show spinoffs. Per the outlet, Ken Jennings will host both the annual Tournament of Champions, where we’ll see the return of beloved contestants like Mattea Roach, Amy Schneider, and Matt Amodio, in addition to its newest addition, the Second Chance competition.

Bialik, meanwhile, will also host Celebrity Jeopardy! as well as the Jeopardy! National College Championship.