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'Jeopardy!' says Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split the host job

Previous winner Ken Jennings will permanently host <em>Jeopardy! </em>episodes from September through December, while actress Mayim Bialik will host the show from January on.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Previous winner Ken Jennings will permanently host Jeopardy! episodes from September through December, while actress Mayim Bialik will host the show from January on.

Jeopardy! hosts Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik will become the show's official hosts after filling the roles temporarily following the 2020 death of former longtime host Alex Trebek.

"In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts at the beginning of their Jeopardy! hosting careers who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the traditional Jeopardy! viewer," the show's executive producer, Michael Davies announced Wednesday.

Davies said in the last year, viewership has been up, with more than 27 million people watching each week.

Jennings will host from September until December, a run that includes the inaugural Second Chance competition and the Tournament of Champions.

Bialik will take over in January by hosting Celebrity Jeopardy! and the Jeopardy! National College Championship. Her hosting duties will be balanced with her acting duties on the FOX show Call Me Kat, Davies said.

"Mayim and Ken are both extraordinarily talented and simply lovely humans. They support the staff and each other," Davies said. "They love and respect this institution of a television program. In return, the staff and I are honored to work alongside them."

Trebek had hosted the game show since 1984.

After Trebek's death, the show kicked off weeks of guest hosts, which included Bialik and Jennings, as well as other household names such as LeVar Burton, Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper.

Jeopardy! announced last August that former executive producer Mike Richards would share hosting duties with Bialik. But he stepped down as host days after The Ringer reported on past offensive comments Richards made on a podcast. He was then fired as executive producer. Davies is his successor.

Bialik and Jennings were then named co-hosts until the end of season 38, which concluded in late 2021.

Bialik is a neuroscientist and former star of The Big Bang Theory. Jennings is well-known among Jeopardy! fans, having gone on an unmatched 74-game winning streak. He also was a consulting producer on the show.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie