Mayim Bialik announces she has been dropped as Jeopardy! host

Jeopardy Bialik (2023 Invision)
Jeopardy Bialik (2023 Invision)

Mayim Bialik has revealed she will no longer be hosting American quiz show Jeopardy! in a social media post on Friday (15 December).

The Big Bang Theory actor, whose stint as presenter earned her an Emmy nomination this year, wrote on Instagram: “Sony has informed me that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!”

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Jeopardy! family,” she added. “For all of you who have supported me through this incredible journey, and to the fans, contestants, writers, staff, and crew of America’s Favourite Quiz Show, thank you.”

Sony confirmed that former show champion Ken Jennings will be the new solo host following Bialik’s departure.

In a statement, the production company said: “We made the decision to have one host for the syndicated show next season to maintain continuity for our viewers, and Ken Jennings will be the sole host for syndicated Jeopardy!

“We are truly grateful for all of Mayim’s contributions to Jeopardy!, and we hope to continue to work with her on primetime specials.”

Bialik and Jennings were among the guest hosts who filled in after the late Alex Trebek’s death from cancer in 2020.

While the stints were seen as tryouts, the job unexpectedly went to then-executive producer Mike Richards.

However, the American presenter quit the show nine days later amid backlash to resurfaced sexist comments he made on a podcast.

Since Richards’s exit, Bialik and Jennings alternated between hosting Jeopardy!, but Bialik was the solo host for the first season of its spinoff show, Celebrity Jeopardy!.

In July 2022, the show’s executive producer Michael Davies confirmed Bialik and Jennings would split hosting duties in a statement that read: “In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts at the beginning of their Jeopardy! hosting careers who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the the traditional Jeopardy! viewer.”

Bialik opened up about some of the fan criticism she had received since she began hosting the long-running American game show during an episode of her podcast Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown.

Ahead of her appointment being made permanent, the actor said fans often drew comparisons between her and Jennings, with some people expressing their preference for the 2004 champion.

“Sometimes I get, ‘We don’t prefer you to Ken,’” Bialik told fellow actor Justin Long.

“[People will tell you] exactly how they feel,” Bialik said, sharing another typical comment she receives: “Like, ‘I saw you in a magazine. I was very confused. You looked pretty.’ I get that a lot.’”

In May, Bialik declared her support for the Hollywood writers’ strike and declined to appear on the game show.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.