‘Jeopardy!’ Reportedly Wanted To Name Mayim Bialik Full-Time Host: Here’s Why They Didn’t

by Chris Haney

As it turns out, new Jeopardy! host Mike Richards was not the game show’s first choice for Alex Trebek’s permanent replacement. Instead, the popular trivia show preferred actress Mayim Bialik as the full-time host.

Earlier this week, Sony Studios executives announced that the show would have two permanent hosts instead of one. Richards is now the full-time host of the syndicated daily show. In addition, Bialik is taking over the show’s primetime and spin-off specials. The tag team hosting partnership caught fans by surprise, but that also wasn’t the game show’s original plan.

According to a TMZ report, showrunners offered the permanent Jeopardy! role to Bialik. However, the Big Bang Theory star’s busy schedule wouldn’t allow her to take over the show solely on her own. Sony Studio sources told TMZ that executives were “very interested” in Bialik taking on the full-time job. Supposedly the Jeopardy! crew adored her and focus groups placed her at the top of their favorite guest host lists.

Bialik, unfortunately, had scheduling conflicts because of her podcast series. Additionally, she executive produces and stars in the television series Call Me Cat on FOX. Yet Sony execs liked her so much that they created a two-host system so she could still be involved as a Jeopardy! host here and there. It took around six weeks to negotiate her deal and the logistics of the role. But she signed a multi-year deal worth millions to host the game show’s primetime specials and spinoff series, National College Championship.

Ravi Ahuja, chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures, announced the two hosts in a recent statement. He said that Richards and Bialik “were the undeniable choices.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Mayim Bialik Reveals Who She Thought Would Be the New Host

On Wednesday, news broke about the surprising choice to have two Jeopardy! hosts take over Alex Trebek’s longtime position. It came as a surprise to many that the game show announced one host for daily syndicated episodes and another for its primetime specials. Yet Bialik fully admits she’s as shocked as anyone to land the job since she had her money on someone else to take over as the sole host of the show.

The former Blossom star addressed her selection as one of two new Jeopardy! hosts in a clip she shared on Twitter. Bialik thanked her fans and everyone involved for their support. She said she’s excited and overwhelmed by her new gig.

“Thank you, everybody! It’s been a very exciting and overwhelming day, but in a very good way,” Bialik said in a video on Twitter.

Bialik continued by saying she talked to Mike Richards after they were hired. The neuroscientist revealed that she truly thought that Richards would get the nod as the full-time host, not her.

“I spoke to Mike Richards, who is my fellow host of Jeopardy! now. That was really awesome to get to tell him how I thought all along that he was gonna be the host!” Bialik revealed.