"Jeopardy!" Fans Slam "Unwatchable" Mayim Bialik Ahead of Her Return
They aren't happy that she'll be back behind the podium next week.
After the passing of longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, multiple guest hosts took turns behind the podium. But since July 2022, former champ Ken Jennings and actor Mayim Bialik have held the title of official hosts. Jennings opened the 39th season of Jeopardy! in Sept. 2022, and while he was originally anticipated to finish his turn at the end of the year and pass the torch to Bialik, he's still quizzing contestants every evening.
In January, producers announced Bialik's new return date: Feb. 20, when the High School Reunion Tournament begins. But while fans have had some extra time with Jennings, not everyone is pleased to hear that Bialik is soon taking over. Read on to find out why some are dreading the imminent switch.
Bialik's return was confirmed last month.
Bialik is set to host the 14-episode High School Reunion Tournament, which kicks off on Feb. 20 and runs through March 9, TV Insider reported. After that, she'll stay on as the host of the regular competition, relieving Jennings of his duties.
The news was first confirmed during a Jan. 9 episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, per The U.S. Sun. "We know there's been a lot of discussion around our hosting schedule," producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss said. "We want to let you know when you can watch Mayim, when you can watch Ken in the coming months."
Whitcomb Foss went on to confirm the dates for Bialik's hosting stint, revealing that she wasn't able to come back in January (as planned), due to scheduling conflicts with her sitcom Call Me Kat.
"Not for any lack of wanting to have both hosts on the show as much as possible—just scheduling. Mayim is a busy, busy woman!" Whitcomb Foss said. "We're excited to have her back."
But while producers are eager to welcome Bialik, many fans aren't as convinced.
Some viewers said they won't tune in when Bialik is hosting.
Jennings and Bialik have their individual hosting styles, which Jeopardy! executive producer Michael Davies previously highlighted, stating, "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."
But with the dual-host setup, viewers are bound to have a favorite—and it's clear not everyone is in Bialik's camp.
Several Jeopardy! fans went straight to the show's Facebook page to voice their disdain for Bialik's return, flooding the comment section of a Feb. 6 post.
"Can't believe Mayim will be replacing Ken soon! I will DEFINITELY not watch," one comment reads. "She's so annoying and distracting with that theatrical smile. Ken is invisible in his [seamless] presentation. To me, he's the closest thing to having Alex back! What's wrong with these producers? If it ain't broke, guys!!?"
Others said that they find Bialik "condescending," and left comments asking for Jennings to remain at the helm. "Please keep Ken Jennings! Please do not take him off the show this season!" one comment reads.
On a post the following day, fans were again voicing opposition to Bialik, with one commenter calling her "unwatchable."
"I can't believe they're bringing Bialick [sic] back," the comment reads, calling attention to Bialik's hosting stint on the Celebrity Jeopardy! spin-off. "She's just terrible. Watching her turn Celebrity Jeopardy into something unwatchable was a shame. Jeopardy has a great host. Why do we need a [expletive] one?"
Others said they actually prefer Bialik.
While a fair amount of people are unhappy to hear Bialik is coming back, some said they would rather see her host over Jennings. "I like Mayim better," one commenter wrote on the Feb. 6 post. Another echoed this, writing, "I much prefer Mayim."
Another viewer said they "can't wait" to see her take on hosting responsibilities again. "Really missed her. She is amazing," they wrote.
Other Bialik fans said they genuinely don't understand why she catches so much flak. "Watching Celebrity Jeopardy and I don't get the hate for Mayim Bialik," a fan tweeted on Feb. 5. "She does a great job."
Peacekeepers chimed in, too, with one fan writing on the Feb. 6 Facebook post, "I enjoy both Ken and Mayim as hosts."
It isn't yet clear when Jennings will be back.
While many fans are bemoaning Bialik's return, there's no news as to when Jennings might be back. However, according to The U.S. Sun, Bialik may be a permanent fixture for the remainder of Season 39, which concludes on July 28. Season 40 kicks off in Sept. 2023.
Best Life reached out to Jeopardy! for confirmation on Jennings' return, but has yet to hear back.