"Jeopardy!" Just Revealed the 2 Hosts Replacing Alex Trebek
His shoes couldn't be filled by just one person, it turns out.
The search for the next host of Jeopardy! has come to a close! And it turns out, Alex Trebek couldn't be replaced by just one person. According to Sony Pictures Television, there are two new Jeopardy! hosts for the first time ever and they both previously guest-hosted the series.
Trebek died in Nov. 2020 at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Starting in Jan. 2021, a series of guest hosts began helming Jeopardy!, including celebrities, TV news correspondents, and former champions of the game show. Now, the final decision has been made. Read on to find out who the two new hosts are.
Mike Richards, previously reported to be the frontrunner, is one of the new Jeopardy! hosts.
The first new host is Mike Richards, who will helm the daily syndicated show. On Aug. 4, Variety reported that the Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune executive producer was in "advanced negotiations" to be the new host. Richards was the second guest host featured this year, leading the show in late February and early March. Richards, who was previously the executive producer of The Price Is Right, became the executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune last year. He has also hosted competition shows before, including The Pyramid and Beauty and the Geek.
"I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!," Richards said in a statement. "Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode."
And Mayim Bialik is the second new host.
Along with Richards, Blossom and The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik will also host Jeopardy!. She will host the series' primetime and spin-off specials, including the Jeopardy! National College Championship, which premieres next year.
Like Richards, Bialik, who also has a PhD in neuroscience, guest-hosted Jeopardy! for two weeks at the beginning of June.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family," Bialik said in a statement. "What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life! I'm so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I'm just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony."
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Richards previously faced backlash on another game show.
After reports came out that Richards was the frontrunner to be the new Jeopardy! host, lawsuits that involved him during his time on The Price Is Right resurfaced, including allegations from the show's models that they were discriminated against due to their pregnancies. One of these lawsuits was dismissed, while the other was eventually settled out of court after a ruling in favor of the model was overturned.
Richards commented on the lawsuits in an internal letter that was shared with the press on Aug. 9. "I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right," he wrote in part, according to CNN.
Some Jeopardy! fans were also bothered by it appearing that, as executive producer, Richards had hired himself. According to CNN, the final decision is actually made by Tony Vinciquerra, the chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
On top of that, some wanted the new Jeopardy! host to be a woman or person of color, with there being a particularly strong push for actor LeVar Burton to get the gig.
Richards' run on Jeopardy! kicks off in just a month.
It was always known that the new host—or hosts, as we know now—would be announced this summer, since the new season of Jeopardy! starts on Sept. 13. Production will begin in mid-August, so Richards' debut as the new host is coming right up.