Skip to content

Mayim Bialik Won't Return to Host "Jeopardy!" This Year, Source Says

The game show host stepped down after the Writers Guild strike began.

It sounds like Jeopardy! will have one host, not two, for the rest of this year. After stepping down from hosting when the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike began in May, Mayim Bialik has not returned to Jeopardy!, which began filming new episodes on Aug. 15. Now, according to a new report, Bialik will likely not be back on the game show for the rest of the year, even if the strike ends.

Bialik stopped hosting the show in solidarity with the WGA, but she herself is a member of the actors' union SAG-AFTRA, which began its own strike in July. The new report indicates that Bialik is supporting both unions.

Read on to find out more about the hosting shake-up and the other changes Jeopardy! has made to stay on the air.

RELATED: The 10 Most Beloved Jeopardy! Contestants of All Time.

Bialik stopped hosting the show in May.

Mayim Bialik hosting "Jeopardy!" in March 2023

The WGA strike began on May 2 after the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major Hollywood studios, did not reach an agreement. As with the SAG-AFTRA strike, the disagreement is primarily over wages, including residuals from content airing on streaming services.

Not long after the WGA strike began, Deadline reported that Bialik was no longer filming Jeopardy!. There was one week left filming on Season 39 at that point. The other main Jeopardy! host, Ken Jennings, stepped in to complete the season.

A source says Bialik won't be back in 2023—even if the strikes end soon.

Mayim Bialik hosting "Jeopardy!" in June 2021
Jeopardy! / YouTube

As reported by The Messenger, Bialik is unlikely to return to Jeopardy! this year.

"Mayim is choosing to stand with the actors like she did the writers and won't cross the picket lines," a source said. "She hopes to return to Jeopardy! as soon as the strike has been resolved."

However, the source also claimed that Bialik has been informed that her return won't be immediate.

"She wasn't fired," the source continued. "She's choosing to stand with her union, and because of that, she was told it is unlikely she will return for the rest of the year, even if the strike is resolved before then."

Best Life has reached out to Jeopardy! production company Sony and to a representative for Bialik for comment.

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Jeopardy! has already begun filming new episodes.

Contestants on "Jeopardy!"
Jeopardy! / YouTube

Season 40 of Jeopardy! began filming on Aug. 15, and the new season is set to premiere on Monday, Sept. 11. Jeopardy! clues are normally written by WGA members, so in light of the strike, the show will be using a mixture of clues that were written prior to the strike and clues recycled from previous episodes. Executive producer Michael Davies announced this change on the official Jeopardy!  podcast Inside Jeopardy!.

Davies also shared that only former contestants will be competing while the strike is ongoing, and that the season will open with a Second Chance tournament.

"I believe, principally, that it would not be fair to have new contestants making their first appearance on the Alex Trebek stage, doing it with non-original material…," Davies said.

Jennings has been criticized for not stepping down.

Ken Jennings hosting "Jeopardy! Masters" in May 2023
Jeopardy! / YouTube

While Bialik stepped back, Jennings returned to work for season 40. The U.S. Sun reported that Jennings seemingly entered the studio through an entrance that would not require him to go past the union members picketing outside when the show began production on Aug. 15.

Jennings has faced criticism for continuing to host the show. On Aug. 13, he defended himself on X, formerly Twitter, by posted a statement from a Jeopardy! spokesperson about the show filming during the strike. Jennings highlighted a section noting that late host Alex Trebek had continued hosting the show during the 2007-2008 WGA strike.

RELATED: Jeopardy! Champ James Holzhauer Says Recent Winner "Should Get a Lifetime Ban."

Bialik and Jennings normally split hosting duties.

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings in a September 2022 "Jeopardy!" video
Jeopardy! / YouTube

Bialik and Jennings began hosting Jeopardy! in September 2021 after a brief stint by Mike Richards, the former executive producer of the series who faced controversy after being named Trebek's replacement. The Big Bang Theory star and the former champion were officially named the permanent hosts in July 2022. Prior to the strikes, they took turns hosting the main syndicated series and also divided up hosting Jeopardy! tournaments and specials.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under