Since 1984, Jeopardy! has drawn millions upon millions of game show fans on a nightly basis with its fun atmosphere, lovable contestants, and witty, welcoming host. Now, however, many of Jeopardy!‘s most ardent fans are threatening to boycott their beloved game show, some going as far as to call it “unwatchable.”
After nearly 40 years of unwavering success, what could possibly cause such outrage? Well, it all started when the world lost a once-in-a-lifetime icon in Alex Trebek.
The Canadian television personality helmed Jeopardy! for an incredible 37 seasons. During this time, he captured the hearts of viewers and critics alike, winning the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host eight times and building the show’s fanbase to an astounding 9 million viewers per episode.
Alex Trebek’s passing presented producers with the impossible task of replacing him. And after a few rocky months, they went an unusual route, tapping two stars to lead the show rather than a single permanent host.
Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings and Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik were both given the honor and both impressed producers right away with their unique brands of wit and charm. Fans, however, weren’t quite as pleased with the choice. Many, in fact, downright hated it.
For months, Jeopardy! fans pleaded with producers to choose a single permanent host, preferably Ken Jennings. They didn’t like the dual hosting era and really didn’t like Mayim Bialik.
Producers assured fans that a decision would be made before Season 39. And fans held out hope that it would be the “right” one. Then, at long last, Jeopardy! announced its hosting decision earlier this week – and chaos ensued.
Fans Threaten to Boycott ‘Jeopardy!’ Over Lack of Permanent Host
As it turns out, Jeopardy! producers were so impressed by both Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik that they simply couldn’t let either go. Instead, they named both as permanent hosts of the game show. You could say fans were disappointed. Beside themselves with rage, however, might be a better descriptor.
“Will not be watching [Jeopardy!] until [Ken Jennings] becomes the primary and only host. This switching stuff sucks! [Boycott Jeopardy] because they have idiots running it. What a mess,” one outraged fan wrote.
“Great! I’ll watch through December when Ken hosts. I will not watch any [episodes] Mayim hosts,” another said. “And I am permanently not watching,” added a third.
No one is thrilled to see Mayim co-hosting at all, if you’d listen to the people most of us preferred Ken as the full-time host over Mayim Bialik. Watch when viewership goes down when Mayim hosts & then goes up with Ken you guys will regret to co-host crap. #SorryNotSorry— Rene Tarantino (@bigrendawg313) July 27, 2022
While the Jeopardy! fandom went up in flames, EP Michael Davies remained steadfast in his adoration of both Mayim and Ken. “In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts…who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the traditional Jeopardy! viewer,” he wrote on the game show’s official website.
“Mayim and Ken are both extraordinarily talented and simply lovely humans,” he continued. “They support the staff and each other. They love and respect this institution of a television program. In return, the staff and I are honored to work alongside them.”