When “Jeopardy!” initially announced that Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik had signed deals to be the show’s permanent hosts — an announcement that came more than a year and a half after Alex Trebek’s death — the show revealed that Jennings would be the first to stand behind the hosting lectern.
Which means there’s a good chance Bialik will be the one greeting “Jeopardy!” fans starting Monday, Jan. 2.
Is Mayim Bialik taking over from Ken Jennings as host?
Jennings, Bialik and “Jeopardy!” have not made any recent statements about the show’s upcoming hosting schedule. But if the original announcement about the “Jeopardy!” hosts remains true, then viewers will indeed see Bialik on their screens starting Monday.
The Deseret News has reached out to Sony for comment.
In the initial host announcement, “Jeopardy!” executive producer Michael Davies said Bialik would take over as host in January — although he didn’t specify how long “The Big Bang Theory” star would host due to her commitments to the sitcom “Call Me Kat.”
“When she takes over from Ken in January, the current plan is to have her host a couple of new tournaments as well as the Jeopardy! National College Championship and as many weeks as she can manage with her other primetime commitment to ‘Call Me Kat,’” Davies said in a statement earlier this year. “We know you value consistency, so we will not flip flop the hosts constantly and will keep you informed about the hosting schedule.”
The “Jeopardy!” National College Championship, featuring 36 undergrads from across the country, airs on ABC starting Feb. 8 and will run through Feb. 22, according to the “Jeopardy!” website.
Bialik’s upcoming hosting stint will also include overseeing the new “Jeopardy!” High School Reunion Tournament, which is scheduled to air from Feb. 20 through March 9, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News. The tournament will see 27 former Teen Tournament contestants competing for $100,000 and a spot in the 2023 Tournament of Champions.
Bialik will also continue hosting “Celebrity Jeopardy!” which returns to ABC on Jan. 5 following a brief hiatus.
What Mayim Bialik has said about hosting ‘Jeopardy!’
Earlier this year, on an episode of the podcast “Inside Jeopardy!” Bialik opened up about the pressures and rewards of hosting the quiz show.
“It’s overwhelming, but in a really good way,” she said, noting that she was excited to share the responsibility with a “Jeopardy!” “legend” like Jennings, the Deseret News reported.
Bialik also said the show moves fast, and that it can be hard to balance officiating the game and interacting with the contestants.
“I think people don’t realize how many things you’re calculating as host. There’s many opportunities for, ‘Oh my gosh, that was the wrong thing to say,’” she said, noting that “it feels very embarrassing” when the show has to go back and edit a mistake she made during filming. “I think people are like, ‘Oh she’s’ a celebrity, or ‘Oh, she’s got a Ph.D., she shouldn’t make simple math errors.’ But sometimes I do, and it’s very stressful!”
Overall, though, Bialik has said she feels gratitude to now be a part of the show’s legacy.
“I’d like to get less nervous as things go on,” she said with a laugh. “It seems like I’m kind of maintaining a level of anxious excitement that may just keep going.”