LOS ANGELES — Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will continue sharing joint hosting duties as “Jeopardy!” prepares to launch its 39th season.
According to a person “familiar with the matter,” Sony Pictures Entertainment has entered into long-term deals that will see Bialik and Jennings split hosting duties during the syndicated game show’s regular season. Meanwhile, Bialik will host primetime editions of the show, as well as the new “Celebrity Jeopardy!” spinoff expected to launch at ABC, Variety reported.
Bialik and former “Jeopardy!” champion Jennings have been filling in as guest hosts following the abrupt exit of former executive producer Mike Richards as host in August, Deadline reported.
For Bialik, negotiations had centered largely upon availability because in addition to her primetime hosting responsibilities, the new season of her Fox series, “Call Me Kat,” is slated to produce more episodes next season, the entertainment news site reported.
“With all of our plans for ‘Jeopardy!’ — which is more ‘Jeopardy!,’ not less, more versions — we’re going to need multiple hosts to represent the entire audience, to represent the entire country, in order to take this franchise forward,” executive producer Michael Davies told Variety in June.
Following the death of longtime host Alex Trebek, producers initially relied on a parade of celebrity guest hosts - ranging from Katie Couric to LeVar Burton - to complete the show’s 37th season, which concluded in 2021. Richards was tapped as the final answer to the hosting conundrum, but he stepped down after just two weeks due to the discovery of controversial remarks he had made in the past, the entertainment news site reported.
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