‘Jeopardy!’: Move Over Ken Jennings! Mayim Bialik Takes Back the Lectern for Brand New Tournament

The Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik and game show GOAT Ken Jennings are trading off guest hosting duties on Jeopardy! through 2021. Fans are voicing their opinions on who should get the permanent post at the quiz board, and will soon get to see Bialik back in action when she reprises her role for this first-ever tournament.

Mayim Bialik in a scene of 'Call Me Kat'
Mayim Bialik | FOX via Getty Images

Mayim Bialik scheduled to host ‘Jeopardy! Professors Tournament’

Though she’s been busy filming season two of her Fox Network sitcom Call Me Kat, Bialik had no problem making room in her schedule to return to Jeopardy! Hosting the very first Professors Tournament, Bialik will moderate the trivia game for 15 college and university professors from Dec. 6 through Dec. 17.

The academic professionals will compete for a $100,000 grand prize and a spot in the 2022 Tournament of Champions. Bialik, who holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience, is thrilled to be a part of the competition that focuses on educators.

“It was an unbelievable thrill to see so many brilliant professors from all kinds of schools and backgrounds come together on the Jeopardy! stage,” Bialik said in a statement, according to People. “There was a sense of kinship and academic camaraderie among the group, along with a healthy dose of competitiveness. That energy made this inaugural Professors Tournament incredibly special.”

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U.S. colleges and universities are well represented in ‘Jeopardy!’ inaugural tournament

Professors from schools nationwide will be competing in the Jeopardy! Professors Tournament with varying areas of expertise including english, chemistry, business, and history. The list of contestants on the Jeopardy! website is as follows:

  • J.P. Allen, Professor of Business at the University of San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif.
  • Hester Blum, Professor of English at Penn State University in University Park, Pa.
  • Sam Buttrey, Professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
  • Marti Canipe, Professor of Elementary Science at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Lisa Dresner, Associate Professor of Writing at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
  • Ramón Guerra, Professor of English, Literature, and Latino Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Omaha, Neb.
  • Gautam Hans, Associate Clinical Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tenn.
  • John Harkless, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Ed Hashima, Professor of History at American River College in Sacramento, Calif.
  • Gary Hollis, Professor of Chemistry at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.
  • Alisa Hove, Professor of Botany at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C.
  • Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, Assistant Professor of U.S. and African American History at University of Colorado-Boulder in Boulder, Colo.
  • Katie Reed, Associate Professor of Musicology at California State University Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif.
  • Deborah Steinberger, Professor of French Literature at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del.
  • Julia Williams, Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings vs. Mayim Bialik — Fans Weigh In on Their Choice for Permanent Host

Mayim Bialik wants to be ‘Jeopardy!’s’ permanent host

After taking on the Jeopardy! podium in late May and then again in mid-September, the Call Me Kat star handed the reins back to Jennings for his return on Nov. 8. Though no firm decision has been announced on who will get the full time gig, Bialik has been vocal about wanting the job.

“I think it’s very clear,” Bialik told Glamour in September 2021. “There’s no other job I would rather have. I love my sitcom work, I do. I love all the other things I do — I love the podcast. But I absolutely have never had a better job.”