These two contenders to be the next permanent host of Jeopardy! will be the only ones to step behind the lectern for the remainder of the year. Who are ... Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings?
The quiz show on Thursday announced that Bialik and Jennings are set to serve as hosts "until the end of the year." The announcement followed a report from TMZ, which said Jeopardy! wouldn't bring back a rotating series of guest hosts again following Mike Richards' ouster. Instead, according to TMZ, Bialik will host "more than half of the episodes," while Jennings will host for "a few weeks."
Richards, who at the time was the executive producer of Jeopardy!, was hired in August to permanently host the show, only to step down after just one day of taping due to offensive past podcast comments. Bialik was hired alongside Richards, but the plan was for him to host the daily syndicated show and for her to host primetime and spinoff series.
After Richards stepped down, he said Jeopardy! would "be bringing back guest hosts to continue production" as the search for a permanent host resumed. But it seems the show won't go back to having a new person host every week or two, instead focusing on just Bialik and Jennings. They have been thought to be the frontrunners for the permanent gig, although TMZ reports that Jennings is "not seen as a real contender" because of his past tweets. A previous report from The Wall Street Journal suggested these tweets kept Jennings from being hired the first time.
Jeopardy! kicked off its new season Monday with episodes hosted by Richards that were filmed before he resigned. An official schedule for the next few months hasn't been revealed, but Sony said that Bialik will host from Sept. 20 through Nov. 5, and "after that, Bialik and Jennings will split hosting duties as their schedules allow."