’Jeopardy!’: Here’s What the Split Hosting Duties Between Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik Mean

by Leanne Stahulak
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The moment we’ve been waiting for all summer is here — “Jeopardy!” has announced its permanent host. Or should I say, hosts.

That’s right, Outsiders. Sony Pictures Television decided earlier today that executive producer Mike Richards and “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik should split the hosting gig. But who gets what percentage?

From the sound of it, Richards will do most of the heavy lifting. He’ll run the daily shows, while Bialik will run the “Jeopardy!” primetime specials (and a potential spin-off). According to Variety, Bialik will start off by hosting the “‘Jeopardy!’ National College Championship” tournament for ABC next year.

Both hosts did well during their run as guest hosts on the show, filling in for the late Alex Trebek after he died last November. We heard earlier that Sony tapped Richards for the position after Variety reported he was in “advanced negotiations.” Bialik came as more of a surprise, but a welcome one.

But Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures, said both of them were “natural choices.”

“We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America’s Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of ‘Jeopardy!,’” Ahuja said earlier in a statement. “We took this decision incredibly seriously. A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it. Perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s ‘Jeopardy!’ and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek.”

He ended by saying, “A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups. And got valuable input from our key partners and ‘Jeopardy!’ viewers.”

Mike Richards And Mayim Bialik Talk New ‘Jeopardy!’ Hosting Gig

“Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude,” Richards said about the appointment. “I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode.”

Richards discussed the impact Alex Trebek made on his approach to the show, where contestants and the game itself come first. He also shared his support of Bialik.

“I am thrilled that Mayim is joining the ‘Jeopardy!’ team,” Richards said. “Her academic track record and enthusiasm for the game made her a terrific guest host. It will be a privilege to produce the primetime series with her as host.”

Bialik herself also expressed her excitement.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the ‘Jeopardy!’ family,” Bialik said. “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!”

Outsider.com