This article has been updated with news that Mike Richards has now stepped down as Jeopardy! host. Scroll down for the update…
Sony Pictures Television today announced that Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik have been named as the new hosts of Jeopardy!. Mike Richards will kick off Season 38 as the full-time host of Jeopardy!‘s long-running daily syndicated program. Mayim Bialik joins as the host of Jeopardy!‘s primetime and spinoff series, including the upcoming all-new Jeopardy! National College Championship set to air on ABC next year.
The Greatest of All Time winner Ken Jennings will return as consulting producer for the show. Richards will continue to serve as executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
“We are thrilled to begin the next chapter of America’s Favorite Quiz Show with Mike hosting our daily show and Mayim hosting new versions of Jeopardy!,” said Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development for Sony Pictures.
“We took this decision incredibly seriously. A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s Jeopardy! and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek. A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups, and got valuable input from our key partners and Jeopardy! viewers.”
Ahuja continued, “We knew early on that we wanted to divide the hosting responsibilities and it became very clear that Mike and Mayim were the undeniable choices. They were both at the top of our research and analysis. Mike is a unique talent, at ease behind the podium and a double threat as producer and host.
“Mayim has a wonderful energy, an innate sense of the game, and an authentic curiosity that naturally represents the Jeopardy! brand. We are excited to get to work with them both and are confident that they will carry on the legacy of this iconic show.”
“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to host the syndicated version of Jeopardy!,” said Richards. “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.
“Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love. I am thrilled that Mayim is joining the Jeopardy! team. Her academic track record and enthusiasm for the game made her a terrific guest host. It will be a privilege to produce the primetime series with her as host.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family,” Bialik said. “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. After all the conversations we’ve had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started!”
Jeopardy! National College Championship is an all-new tournament which will air in primetime on ABC next year. The competition will feature 15 colleges from across the country going head-to-head for two weeks of intense competition.
A series of guest hosts have each taken a turn at the Jeopardy! lectern this past season, including Katie Couric, Aaron Rodgers, Bill Whitaker, Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie, Sanjay Gupta, LeVar Burton, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Joe Buck, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Buzzy Cohen and David Faber.
As part of each host’s appearance, a donation was made to a charity of their choice, with the amount donated equaling the cumulative winnings of the contestants that competed during the weeks they served as guest host. In total, Jeopardy! donated nearly $3 million to various charities this past season. Richards’ guest hosting appearances aired February 22, 2021 – March 5, 2021 and Bialik served as guest host from May 31, 2021 – June 11, 2021.
Mike Richards signed a multi-year overall deal with Sony Pictures in 2019. Prior to that, he served as executive producer of The Price Is Right for 11 years. A four-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and 19-time nominee, Richards also served as executive producer of Let’s Make a Deal and has produced over 4,000 hours of game show programming. Richards is also known for his work in front of the camera, having hosted five series including Beauty and the Geek, Game Show Network’s 2016-17 version of Divided and the 2012 revival of The Pyramid.
Mayim Bialik is an acclaimed actress, author, host, and neuroscientist, well known for her award-winning role as Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory. Currently, Bialik is starring in Call Me Kat on FOX, which she also executive produces. Outside of the realm of television, she also is the host of the mental health podcast Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown and she recently wrote and directed her first feature film, As Sick As They Made Us, starring Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen.
“We’re honored to have Ken continue his role on the Jeopardy! team,” continued Ahuja. “He has a long history with the show, and we look forward to continue working with him. We are grateful to all the guest hosts who helped us deliver this beloved game show last season. Losing Alex last year was heartbreaking for the millions of fans and everyone in the Sony Pictures family – but especially for and those on the Jeopardy! team who had worked so closely with him. I want to acknowledge the entire team and thank them for their hard work and dedication and for continuing to produce outstanding entertainment while struggling with that terrible loss.”
Jeopardy! will begin production on Season 38 in mid-August, with new episodes launching on September 13, 2021.
UPDATE: Following the resurfacing of derogatory comments Mike Richards made on a podcast some eight years ago, he has now stepped down as host of Jeopardy!. The following was his statement to the production…
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter.
“As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.
“SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host. In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week.
“I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”