News broke earlier this week that executive producer Mike Richards was the “frontrunner” for the permanent “Jeopardy!” host position. But Sony Pictures Television continues to negotiate and consider other guest hosts.
According to Variety, the two other “standouts” are none other than Mayim Bialik and Buzzy Cohen. Bialik is a neuroscientist and actress on “The Big Bang Theory” while Cohen is a previous “Jeopardy!” champion. A spokesperson at Sony Pictures Television stated that “discussions were ongoing with several potential candidates,” though no one besides those three was named.
Variety reports that Sony Pictures is in “advanced negotiations” with “Jeopardy!” executive producer Richards. So, no concrete decision has been finalized yet, but it sounds like Richard is almost a shoo-in for the job.
“Jeopardy!” started searching for a permanent host after the tragic death of 37-year host Alex Trebek back in November 2020. Including Richards, Bialik, and Cohen, other guest hosts throughout the last year include Ken Jennings, Aaron Rodgers, Sanjay Gupta, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, and LeVar Burton. Fans especially hoped that Burton would snag the role after his guest-hosting stint.
Sony Pictures stated that Richards’ “command of the fast-paced game and easy on-air manner” impressed them. Richards also previously hosted game shows like “Divided” and “The Pyramid.” After becoming an executive producer, Richards eventually produced more than 4,000 hours of game show television.
Variety did not report why Sony Pictures picked Bialik and Cohen for their runners-up. Generally, fans seemed to enjoy both guest hosts’ performances. Reviews are currently split on Richards, however.
‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Give Their Take on Permanent Host Candidates
After Variety released the news on Twitter, a majority of fans expressed their outrage about the not-finalized decision. Several stood up for LeVar Burton and demanded to know why Sony didn’t even consider him a runner-up to Richards.
Another user said, “LeVar is THE consensus choice across generations, races, and ethnic origins… He is the best choice to keep current viewers and bring in the next generation of viewers. I have no knowledge of Mike Richards and no desire to watch the MOST vanilla choice they could make.”
Aside from Burton, a surprising number of fans also spoke up for Bialik.
“C’mon y’all, did you SEE how amazing Mayim Bialik was at hosting? I don’t wanna see y’all holding all these interim hosting weeks just to literally pick the guy who’s already in charge,” one fan commented.
“No. Just no. This dude is bland and not to mention creepy (he lost a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former Price is Right model). Aaron Rogers, Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings, and LeVar Burton were all better (though I was disappointed with Burton’s performance),” another wrote.
Keep an eye out to see when Sony Pictures makes their final decision on the permanent “Jeopardy!” host.