Mayim Bialik Still Hasn't Returned to Hosting Jeopardy!—Here's Why
The second host was expected to take over for Ken Jennings in January.
Jeopardy! is a mainstay in homes across the U.S. For decades before his death in 2020, millions of Americans tuned in every weeknight to watch the show's long-time host, the late Alex Trebek, quiz hopefuls. Since then, Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik have both officially signed on for the job after they each filled the hosting role temporarily following Trebek's death. But if you're an avid Jeopardy! fan, you may be asking, "What is going on with Bialik?" Jennings is still behind the podium, hosting on his own every show. Read on to find out why Bialik still hasn't returned to Jeopardy!.
Jennings and Bialik were both recently hired as the new official hosts of Jeopardy!.
It took more than a year and a half after Trebek passed for Jeopardy! to decide on who should fill his shoes. But in July 2022, the show finally announced an unusual choice: There would be two official hosts. After filling in as temporary replacements, both Jennings and Bialik signed deals to continue hosting.
"The fact is, we have so much Jeopardy! to make, and so many plans for the future, that we always knew we would need multiple hosts for the franchise and we are just so grateful that Mayim and Ken stepped in and stepped up to put the show in a position to succeed," Michael Davies, the executive producer of Jeopardy!, said in a statement. "And succeed it has."
According to Davies, viewership has climbed to more than 27 million tuning in each week since the start of the season. "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 traditional Jeopardy! viewer," he said.
But some viewers may have noticed that it's now been some time since Bialik has been behind the podium.
Bialik was expected to take over in January.
When it was first announced in July 2022 that Jennings and Bialik would both take over as official Jeopardy! hosts, the show also offered insight into how they would trade off their responsibilities. "Ken will kick off the season in September, host the inaugural Second Chance competition and the heavily anticipated Tournament of Champions featuring Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Ryan Long, and many, many more," Davies said at the time. "His initial hosting run will take us through December."
Following this, Bialik was expected to return to Jeopardy! in Jan. 2023. "When she takes over from Ken in January, the current plan is to have her host a couple of new tournaments as well as the Jeopardy! National College Championship and as many weeks as she can manage with her other primetime commitment to Call Me Kat," Davies explained.
Bialik has still not returned to the show.
The new year has rolled in with no new Jeopardy! host, and Jennings has still been standing behind the hosting lectern, Deseret News reported. During a Jan. 9 episode of the show's official podcast Inside Jeopardy!, it was revealed that Jennings will continue hosting through January and even into February. Bialik, on the other hand, is now not expected to take over until Feb. 20, when the High School Reunion Tournament begins.
"Originally, we did think Mayim was going to come back in January," Jeopardy! producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss said during the podcast. "Her Call me Kat schedule, it evolved, so we are seeing her a little later than we had anticipated. But not for any lack of wanting to have both of our hosts on the show as much as possible—just scheduling. Mayim is a busy, busy woman! We're excited, though, to have her back."
Jennings and Bialik are also hosting separate Jeopardy! spin-offs.
Jeopardy! fans haven't been completely deprived of Bialik these last few months, though. In Sept. 2022, Jeopardy! kickstarted its new primetime spin-off Celebrity Jeopardy! with Bialik as the host. The 13-episode series took a short break between November and December, but recently returned on Jan. 5 with its ninth episode featuring Michael Cera, Brianne Howey, and Zoë Chao.
Now, Jennings is also set to host his own separate primetime spin-off. ABC has just ordered a new series called Jeopardy! Masters, Deadline reported on Jan. 11. This will be an "elite level iteration of the classic quiz show," reported the news site. With Jennings hosting, Jeopardy! Masters will take the current six highest-ranked Jeopardy! contestants and have them face off in a "Champions League-style event" for the ultimate champion title.