There is a host change on Jeopardy!
Via an Instagram post on Friday, The Big Bang Theory alum informed the public that Jeopardy! is letting her go as the host. She writes, “As the holiday break begins in Hollywood, I have some Jeopardy! news,” adding, “Sony has informed me that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy! ”
She continues in her post, “I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for a primetime Emmy for hosting this year and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Jeopardy! family.” She concluded her post by saying thank you to the “fans, contestants, writers, staff and crew” for supporting her through “this incredible journey” on “America’s Favorite Quiz Show.”
Via People, we know that the actress’ contract was not up at the time Sony made the decision.
In late 2020, earlier Jeopardy!, long-time host Alex Trebek passed away, which led Bialik to take up the role as a co-host with Ken Jennings, as they would take up hosting on a rotational basis from 2021.
In 2022, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Bialik expressed interest in taking over the role of hosting permanently on Jeopardy! before landing the gig. She told the outlet at the time, “I would love that,” adding, “I like to say I’ve lived season-to-season since I was about 13 years old.” Addressing that it is an honor to become the first permanent female host, the neuroscientist added, “I think being a female is its mark. My grandparents were immigrants to this country and escaped pogroms, and World War II, so for me, in two generations, be in a position to be a woman and a host in that iconic role, blows my mind.”
People reported that neither Bialik nor Jennings were the first choices for being hosts. It was the series’ executive, Mike Richards. However, Richards was removed from the position after his past controversial comments and alleged behaviors resurfaced. In May 2022, Bialik became the show’s temporary host upon Jenning taking a hiatus. The following month, he returned, and the duo became permanent co-hosts on Jeopardy!.
Mayim’s seat on the series has been a controversial topic, given that the audience and fans preferred Jennings over her. Some even asked for Bialik to be replaced on social media, while others argued it was more about the show than the host. “I much prefer Ken but Mayim does an adequate job. It’s the game that matters not the host,” one user wrote.
On her podcast Bialik Breakdown, the neuroscientist admitted to guest Justin Long that she faced harsh criticism for being on the show. One of the most common remarks she gets from fans is: “We don’t prefer you to Ken.” Bialik also shared another backhanded remark that had been relayed to her. “Like, ‘I saw you in a magazine. I was very confused. You looked pretty,'” she recalled. “I get that a lot.”
Catch Jeopardy! on Wednesdays.