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Why "Jeopardy!" Fans Think Mayim Bialik May Be Done Hosting for Good

She's officially been replaced by Ken Jennings for one spinoff already.

Since Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings took over as official co-hosts of Jeopardy!, there has been an ongoing debate over who does a better job. Fans choose sides, with some staying true to Jennings, a former champ known as the "greatest of all time," and others preferring Bialik, an actor whom they find charming and intelligent. The pair typically alternate hosting duties—appeasing viewers in both camps—but following a recent announcement, Jeopardy! fans are speculating that Bialik could actually be done hosting for good. Read on to find out why some think the Blossom actor may be stepping away.

RELATED: Jeopardy! Is Returning Next Month, But Get Ready for Major Changes.

Bialik will not be hosting Celebrity Jeopardy! next season.

The first season of Celebrity Jeopardy! aired last September, with Bialik at the helm every episode. The second season is set to premiere on Sept. 27, ABC confirmed in a press release announcing its fall 2023 schedule, but Bialik won't be behind the podium. According to Deadline, Jennings is taking over for Bialik as the host of Season 2.

The promo photo announcing the upcoming season of Celebrity Jeopardy! does feature a clip of Jennings, seemingly confirming the switch. Best Life reached out to ABC for comment on the hosting change, and will update this story upon hearing back.

RELATED: Jeopardy! Boycott Grows: Why Fans Say They Won't Watch the Show.

She already stepped down last season.


With the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike ongoing, this news isn't necessarily shocking. As Best Life previously reported, Bialik opted out of hosting the final week of Jeopardy! in July to stand in solidarity with writers—and according to Deadline, she's sitting out Celebrity Jeopardy! for the same reason.

The outlet said her decision is also likely impacted by the striking Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), of which Bialik is a member. Jennings is also a SAG-AFTRA member, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, actors are still permitted to participate in gameshows like Jeopardy!, thanks to the SAG-AFTRA Network Code.

On the Aug. 7 episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, executive producer Michael Davies confirmed that the material for Celebrity Jeopardy! was completed before the WGA strike, meaning the new season will have original clues. However, plans for regular Jeopardy! are different: Davies said the show will use recycled material—and past contestants—in order to continue production.

Given her decision to opt out of filming even when there is fresh WGA material, it's unlikely that Bialik will be returning to her regular Jeopardy! hosting duties, at least while the strike continues.

RELATED: Jeopardy! Producer Explains "Painful to Watch" Episode Amid Backlash.

Bialik wasn't featured in an image of Season 39's "top moments."

While Bialik's future with Jeopardy! is unclear, TV Insider pointed out the show's apparent jab at Bialik, who was left out of a promo photo posted on Jeopardy!'s social media channels.

The image, posted on Aug. 18, commemorated the end of Season 39, featuring images of Jeopardy! Masters champ and fan-favorite James Holzhauer and Tournament of Champions winner Amy Schneider. Multi-game champs from Season 39, Cris Pannullo and Ben Chan, were included as well, as was contestant Jenny Dally, who was featured doing the "dab" dance move. Jennings is grinning on the left-hand side, but Bialik is nowhere to be seen.

Bialik is featured on the show's list of the "top moments" from last season, but the fact that she wasn't included in the main image—especially with Jennings featured so prominently—furthered some fans' beliefs that the actor might be stepping down.

"Ken Jennings to be the permanent host of Jeopardy!" a viewer wrote in response to the post. Another wrote of Bialik, "I hope she doesn't come back!"

In response to the caption, which asked viewers what their favorite moments from Season 39 were, one fan wrote, "I like it when Ken Jennings took the reigns as host of 'Jeopardy!'"

Best Life reached out to ABC for comment on Bialik's absence from the Season 39 image, and whether that reflects her future on Jeopardy! We will update this story with their response.

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Some are holding out hope for Bialik's return.

Mayim Bialik hosting "Jeopardy!"
Jeopardy! / YouTube

Filming for the upcoming Jeopardy! season kicked off on Aug. 15, with writers and former players picketing outside of the show's studio, per a WGA post on X. A Redditor who claimed to be in attendance confirmed that Jennings was behind the podium. According to the Redditor, the taping was part of the Second Chance competition, which Davies said would feature contestants from Season 37 who lost their initial game.

But while Jennings appears to be the sole host right now, some viewers are hoping for the Big Bang Theory alum's return.

"Give me one show where Ken doesn't remind us what a champion he is. We like Mayim," a commenter wrote on Instagram.

Another added, "It's great we have a female host on the show. Majority of these game shows are hosted by men. I'm glad we have a Female Host!"

One more viewer voiced their support for Bialik's position, writing, "I liked when Mayim refused to work on a struck production. Live Better Work Union!"

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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