Jeopardy! just hasn’t felt the same since longtime host Alex Trebek passed away last year. After taking a break to figure out the future of the series, the quiz show ran through a series of guests hosts, including former champion Ken Jennings and fan favorite LeVar Burton, as a trial run to see who might be the best choice to step up to the podium. Now Jeopardy! producers have determined who will get the pivotal role on the show, and it will actually be two different hosts: executive producer Mike Richards and The Big Bang Theory co-star Mayim Bialik.
The Daily Beast has learned, in a “the call is coming from inside the house” scenario, that executive producer Mike Richards is stepping up to host the long-running daily syndicated version of Jeopardy! that airs every weekday afternoon. Meanwhile, Mayim Bialik will come in to host primetime and spin-off specials of the quiz show, such as the upcoming Jeopardy! National College Championship in 2022.
Considering the variety of guest hosts that stopped by Jeopardy! over the past few months, these are two of the most boring choices that the show could have made. Buzzy Cohen, Bill Whittaker, and LeVar Burton were infinitely better in their guest hosting gigs than either of these choices. Even Aaron Rodgers would have been a preferable choice. Richards has the personality of a vanilla wafer and while Bialik wasn’t terrible in her hosting stint, she just doesn’t feel like the right host for Jeopardy! after Alex Trebek.
The Problem With Mike Richards
Aside from the fact that Mike Richards isn’t all that great of a Jeopardy! host, he recently came under fire with complaints of harassment and discrimination against multiple models on The Price is Right when they became pregnant during his time as an executive producer on the game show. The executive producer responded to the allegations in a memo to the Jeopardy! team:
“I want to address the complicated employment issues raised in the press during my time at The Price is Right ten years ago. These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show. I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.
I am very proud of my time on The Price Is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. During my tenure, our female cast members welcomed seven beautiful children. We embraced and celebrated each pregnancy and birth both in front of and behind the camera. It was a joy to watch their families grow and highlight their happiness as part of the show.”
Whatever happened at The Price is Right, apparently it wasn’t enough for Sony Pictures Television to remove him from consideration for being the new permanent host of Jeopardy!. But again, even outside of these supposed transgressions, the fact remains that Mike Richards feels like the host of a CD-ROM version of Jeopardy! that simply couldn’t afford Alex Trebek’s time.
The 38th season of Jeopardy! premieres on September 13, 2021.
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