The new host for the long-running game show Jeopardy! will be Mike Richards, with Mayim Bialik stepping in to host Jeopardy! show specials, Sony Pictures confirms, ending the extended search—including a period of tryouts—of who will take up the mantle from renowned host Alex Trebek, who died last year after a public battle with cancer.
Mike Richards, an executive producer for Jeopardy! who has reportedly been a frontrunner to take over as host, will be the permanent host when the show kicks off its 38th season in September.
Richards had come under scrutiny earlier this week after discrimination allegations resurfaced from The Price Is Right, where he worked as executive producer, which he addressed in an email to Jeopardy! staffers saying, they “do not reflect the reality of who I am.”
Mayim Bialik, best known for her roles on Blossom and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, will host primetime and spin-off specials of the show, starting with Jeopardy! National College Championship to air on ABC.
Ravi Ahuja, Sony Pictures chairman of global television studios and corporate development, said Wednesday a senior group of executives “pored over footage from every episode” and “reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups” to make the decision.
This was first reported by The Daily Beast.
After Trebek’s death last year, multiple people have stepped in to guest-host the show, including Bialik, Robin Roberts, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper and LeVar Burton.
“We took this decision incredibly seriously,” said Ahuja in the statement. “A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s Jeopardy! and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek.”