Season 38 of Jeopardy! premiered on Monday with the no longer employed host, Mike Richards. In an attempt to salvage his one and only episode, the producers heavily edited his intro. And it was a little awkward.
The September 13th episode of the legendary gameshow opened with a tribute to the late Alex Trebek. Trebek passed away last November from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. He had been Jeopardy’s host since the very start. And trying to fill his shoes has proven to be impossible.
“Earlier today, with Alex’s wife Jean, son Matt, and daughters Emily and Nicky, we dedicated the stage in his honor,” announced Johnny Gilbert, as the episode began. “It will now forever be known as the Alex Trebek Stage.”
Then the screen cut to Mike Richards, the show’s former executive producer, and host. Richard stepped down as Trebek’s replacement after podcasts surfaced of Richard making insensitive comments. Shortly after, Sony ousted him from his executive producer position. And apparently, the firing has led to a legal battle.
Instead of Richards introducing himself as the proud new host or singing thankful words, he abruptly begins in the show.
“Thank you Johnny Gilbert, great to see you. We are in the presence of a champion in the midst of a historic run,” he begins. “… And now, for the first time from the Alex Trebek stage, let’s play Jeopardy!” And that’s it, with those lackluster words, season 38 began.
Mayim Bialik Will Be The Guest Host of ‘Jeopardy!’ As The Search to Replace Alex Trebek Continues
As the dramatic search for a new full-time Jeopardy host continues, Mayim Bialik will serve as a guest host for three weeks. But there are rumors circulating that Sony wants to sign her on as the gameshows full-time host.
“The studio loves Mayim but at the time of the decision for the current season, her schedule for ‘Call me Kat’ was set and she wouldn’t have been able to juggle the syndicated show and her fox sitcom,” an insider told CNN.
The insider went on to say that Bialik is still a top choice for the show. They just need to find a way to work around her hectic filming schedule. In the meantime, the Big Bang Theory scientist is thrilled to be a part of the show—even if it stays temporary.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the ‘Jeopardy!’ family,” she told CBS. “What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life! I’m so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I’m just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony. After all the conversations we’ve had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started!”