Jul 27, 2022 - Economy

"Jeopardy!" taps Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings as permanent hosts

Mayim Bialik attends the 2022 Fox Upfront on May 16, 2022.

Mayim Bialik attends the 2022 Fox Upfront on May 16, 2022. She will host "Jeopardy!" with Ken Jennings. Photo: Jason Mendez/WireImage

Sony Pictures Television announced Wednesday that Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik will be the full-time hosts of "Jeopardy!" moving forward.

Why it matters: This ends the search for a permanent replacement for the late Alex Trebek, who hosted the show from 1984 until his death in 2020. Jennings and Bialik previously split hosting duties after Trebek's passing.

Driving the news: "Jeopardy!" executive producer Michael Davies said in a statement Wednesday that viewership numbers were up while Jennings and Bialik hosted the game show.

  • “When you consider that almost every other show in broadcast television and syndication is declining, this has been a quite remarkable season: we’re the most-watched entertainment show on all of television," Davies wrote.

Details: Jennings will host "Jeopardy!" from September through December. During that time, he will host the Tournament of Champions, which features past winners, as well as other tournaments.

  • Bialik will take over in January. She will host new tournaments, as well as the "Jeopardy! National College Championship."

The big picture: The search for a new permanent "Jeopardy!" host has been going on for almost two years, beginning when Trebek passed away in November 2020.

  • Mike Richards, a former executive producer who led the search for a new host, was originally tapped in August 2021 to replace Trebek.
  • But Richards abruptly stepped down from the role after The Ringer reported he had used “offensive language” and negative remarks against women's bodies on a podcast.
  • Bialik and Jennings then took over hosting duties through the show's 38th season.

Yes, but: A streak of "super-champions" has helped push "Jeopardy!" past the drama. Contestants Mattea Roach, Amy Schneider and Matt Amodio all had winning runs that drew increased viewership.

  • “It has really let people fall in love with ‘Jeopardy!’ again and forget about what happened to focus on all of these amazing contestants,” Andy Saunders, who runs thejeopardyfan.com website, told AP.

Go deeper: Streak of "super-champions" helps "Jeopardy!" push past host fiasco

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