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Sony Pictures Television confirmed reports on Wednesday that producer Mike Richards will take over as the permanent host of Jeopardy!. However, on a surprising note, Sony added that Richards won’t be the only host filling the void left with the death of Alex Trebek.
Jeopardy! also says that actress Mayim Bialik will host the show’s primetime and spinoff series, while Richards handles the show’s daily syndication. Bialik’s episodes will include the Jeopardy! National College Championship.
“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,” said Ravi Ahuja, Sony Pictures Chairman of Global Television Studios and Corporate Development.
“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.”
Bialik is best known as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.
Though I doubt Sony changed its mind from a week ago, the addition of Bialik cools down the criticism about hiring Richards. Media writers and Twitter users had a fit last week when they learned Sony selected Richards to take over hosting duties. Whether they were angry that Richards works behind the scenes on the show or that he is a white male, the critics cried for a least three days over the news. They are now happy with this move.
For what it’s worth, Ahuja said the plan all along was to divide the spots up between two different hosts.
“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,” Ahuja states. “They were both at the top of our research and analysis.”
Best of luck to Richards and Bialik, but what about Aaron Rodgers?