‘Jeopardy!’ EP on Mayim Bialik’s Firing: ‘We Were Forced Into’ Having Two Hosts but ‘Hope to Continue Working With Her’

Though Mayim Bialik was fired from the “Jeopardy!” flagship syndicated series in December, the door is still open to bring her back for other versions, according to executive producer Michael Davies.

On a panel about unscripted television during ABC’s presentation at the Television Critics Assn. winter 2024 press tour, Davies said the decision to remove Bialik and keep Ken Jennings as solo host came from a pursuit of “more consistency.”

More from Variety

“When I took over the show, we were forced into that situation,” said Davies, referring to the two-host setup. “Over the past two and a half seasons, what we’ve heard from a lot of from television stations and other interested parties is that they wanted more consistency. They wanted a single host.

“Mayim is a superb host,” he added. “We hope to continue working with her on primetime versions — this conversation is ongoing.”

Bialik in December announced her exit via social media. Her post, and then Sony Pictures Television’s statement about Bialik’s departure, emphasized that she would no longer host the syndicated version of “Jeopardy.” Neither made any reference to primetime versions of the franchise like “Celebrity Jeopardy,” which Bialik hosted alone for its first season (before passing duties to Ken Jennings in Season 2 due to the Hollywood strikes). “Celebrity Jeopardy” has not yet been renewed for a third season.

Bialik first joined “Jeopardy!” in 2021, serving as a guest host alongside Jennings after the quick exit of Mike Richards, who resigned just one week into his post due to the resurfacing of offensive comments he’d made in the past. Richards had also served as EP on “Jeopardy,” and also stepped down from that role. Davies took over as interim EP during this period, and announced Bialik and Jennings as cohosts in July 2022. (Davies has since become the permanent EP of “Jeopardy.”)

Davies previously spoke positively of the multi-host model. After winning the Daytime Emmy for best game show in December 2021 — when Jennings and Bialik still held guest positions — he told Variety: “We’re going to need multiple hosts to represent the entire audience, to represent the entire country, in order to take this franchise forward.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.