Speed Reads

what is a twist ending?

Former Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer savagely roasts the show for hiring 2 hosts

What is ... boom, roasted? 

The lengthy search for a new Jeopardy! host got a surprise ending Wednesday as not one, but two candidates were officially tapped to replace Alex Trebek: executive producer Mike Richards will host the daily syndicated show, while The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik will host "Jeopardy!'s primetime and spinoff series," Sony said. News that Richards was set to be hired as the new host of Jeopardy! sparked backlash last week, and with that in mind, former champion James Holzhauer roasted the show Wednesday over the announcement that both Richards and another host had been picked.  

"Also new for next season: contestants can submit two Final Jeopardy responses in case the first one causes public backlash," Holzhauer joked.

Richards has been a controversial pick both because of his involvement in past discrimination lawsuits when he was producer of The Price Is Right, not to mention the perception that he hired himself for the gig as Jeopardy! producer. On Monday, Richards in a memo to the show's staff said the final pick was "not my decision and never has been," and he said the allegations in the past lawsuits don't "reflect the reality of who I am."

It hadn't been known prior to Wednesday's announcement that Jeopardy! was considering hiring more than one host, though Sony Pictures Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development Ravi Ahuja said that "we knew early on that we wanted to divide the hosting responsibilities." NPR TV critic Eric Deggans, though, argued that the announcement "feels like an awkward attempt to avoid criticism." 

On Twitter, Bialik suggested the dual hosting plan was in the works for a "long time," and in a video, she addressed those fans who might have been rooting for another candidate. 

"If you don't like me as the new host of Jeopardy!, I'm sorry," she said. "I love LeVar Burton."