‘Jeopardy!’: Mayim Bialik Is ‘Happy to Be of Service’ to the Show, but Do Fans Want Her as Host?
After Alex Trebek’s death in 2020, Jeopardy! producers did not immediately hire a new host. Instead, they cycled through guest hosts in a quasi-interview process. After another recent hosting shake-up caused by new host Mike Richards’ controversial past comments, actor and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik will temporarily host the show. Bialik has publicly stated that she is happy to take on the job, but some fans hope that she’ll be ousted as well.
Mayim Bialik is temporarily hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ after Mike Richards stepped down
On Aug. 11, 2021, Sony Pictures Television announced that Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards would take on the permanent hosting role. Many fans were initially upset that the show’s executive producer would be taking the job, especially after the long line of successful guest hosts. Soon, though, his past offensive comments resurfaced, and Richards stepped down.
Bialik was originally hired to host the show’s primetime and spinoff series, such as Jeopardy! National College Championship. However, following Richards’ exit, the show will return to a sequence of guest hosts, with Bialik as the first. She will appear as host for three weeks.
Bialik took to her Instagram account to share the news.
“Happy to be of service to my Jeopardy! family. There’s no place I’d rather be!” she wrote.
Fans are bringing up Bialik’s past scandals
While some fans appreciated Bialik’s run as a guest-host, others are wary about the hosting decision. In the past, Bialik has made comments casting doubt on vaccines; in an interview with People, she noted that her family was a “non-vaccinating” one. Since then, she publicly stated that she’d been vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19).
Still, this is a major point of contention for fans. “Keep in mind that Mayim Bialik, though vaccinated, spreads vaccine doubt and hawks brain quackery. She is no representative for a show about facts and authority,” one tweeted.
Fans have also pointed out Bialik’s controversial op-ed in The New York Times. In it, Bialik writes that she avoided figures like Weinstein because of her modest clothing and her policy to not act flirtatiously with men. While she did apologize, one fan recently tweeted, “her NYT Op Ed felt like a betrayal. Apology or not, I’m out.”
Who do fans want to host ‘Jeopardy’?
While fans have a lot of opinions on who should next host Jeopardy! many agree that LeVar Burton is a strong option. After the announcement that Richards and Bialik would join the show as hosts, another fan tweeted, “Unless they’re both LeVar Burton I’m not watching.”
Burton guest-hosted the show in July 2021 and quickly became a fan favorite for the job. Fans even created a Change.org petition to make him the next host. It garnered over 270,000 signatures.
While Burton has expressed interest in the hosting job, it is still unclear who will take on the position permanently. Until then, fans can watch the next round of guest hosts on weekdays at 7 p.m. ET.