After months of waiting, fans finally learned the name of the new Jeopardy host. Make that the names of the new hosts. There will be two!
Fans of Levar Burton who hoped he’d be named the new Jeopardy host will surely be disappointed. But Sony confirmed Mike Richards will take the reins of the long-running quiz show.
Well, Richards will take the reins most of the time. A second host, actress Mayim Bialik, will front primetime and spinoff series.
You may well wonder when primetime versions air. You may also wonder what spinoff series we’re talking about. More on that in a minute.
Sony Pictures Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development Ravi Ahuja said they took the 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,” Ahuja said.
Richards and Bialik were among list of guest hosts
Fans of the series who endured a long stream of random guest hosts probably recognize Richards. In fact, he hosted for two weeks after the death of longtime host Alex Trebek. But it wasn’t Richards’ first time hosting a show. In fact, he has hosted Game Show Network’s The Pyramid and Divided, as well as Beauty and the Geek. He is a four-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and 19-time nominee.
Richards is also a veteran game show producer. He currently serves as executive producer for both Jeopardy and its sister show, Wheel of Fortune. Prior to that, he served as executive producer of CBS’s The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal.
You may remember Bialik from her starring role in Blossom or more recently from The Big Bang Theory. She also guest-hosted Jeopardy. She will host any primetime specials. But her first time as permanent host will come during the Jeopardy National College Championship. That’s set to air next year on ABC.
The show’s blog, J!Buzz, reported a group of senior executives at Sony Pictures Television made the decision after reviewing footage from every guest-hosted episode. They also took into consideration research from multiple panels and focus groups and “input from the show’s partners and viewers.”
That’s probably little consolation to the viewers who created a petition just to get Burton a shot at guest hosting. I’m honestly a little surprised Burton didn’t get the nod considering the buzz around him.
But time will tell whether producers made the right call.