Mayim Bialik to be Season 38’s First Guest Host

Mayim Bialik hosting Jeopardy! in May 2021.

Mayim Bialik will be the first “guest host” of Season 38.

Out of reports from Culver City today, the primetime host of the show will be taping three weeks’ worth of Jeopardy! episodes this week. Taping is resuming today; these episodes should be scheduled to air September 20 through October 8.

Further guest hosts will be announced by Sony in the near future, as the search for a permanent host continues.

Editorially: The fan reaction so far on Twitter has been one of “People are reacting in a misinformed fashion” to this news. Remember that Bialik is already a part of the team, by virtue of her being tapped as the primetime host. Please, give Sony a chance to actually recover from this. There was a 0% chance of anyone other than Ken Jennings, Buzzy Cohen, or Mayim Bialik being tapped to host these episodes, by virtue of the time crunch that the show is actually under right now to get episodes in the can. Moreover, Sony’s executives, including Tony Vinciquerra (who hired the now-disgraced Mike Richards), need to be focused on ensuring Mike Richards is removed as executive producer.

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25 Comments on "Mayim Bialik to be Season 38’s First Guest Host"

  1. I believe that Ken Jennings and Buzzy were both in the studio last week…Maybe they (hopefully) should also be tapped as replacements? It must be very awkward to have Richards as producer—he needs to leave. I can’t imagine what this is like for the poor contestants.

  2. brandon bennett | August 23, 2021 at 3:46 pm |

    Richards definitely should leave as executive producer but ken should probably be full time host

  3. I am disappointed to see an online mob trying to come after her as they did Mike Richards. He was uniquely problematic.

    • brandon bennett | August 23, 2021 at 7:52 pm |

      Eh she’s had some controversial takes but no she definitely isn’t as bad as Richards

  4. I’m seeing reports that Tony Vinciquerra and Ravi Ahuja now have direct oversight with the new host search.

    Is that going to be a problem? Aren’t they the reason we’re in this mess right now?

    • Debbie Stover | August 23, 2021 at 7:21 pm |

      The alternative, apparently, was to have Mike Richards be in charge of the new host search. That being the case, I am all in favor of these two from Sony taking another crack at it. (And in their spare time, perhaps they can work on shoehorning Richards out the door.)

  5. I thought Ken Jennings did a good job, but I don’t know how he will hold things together in the long run.

    While I am hoping for Mayim Bialik, either she or Buzzy Cohen would be very good. Either one would bring their own personality to the show and not be a cookie-cutter game show host as some of the other guest hosts were.

  6. Brad (not Rutter) | August 23, 2021 at 7:38 pm |

    Ken all the way.

  7. Awkward for Bialik to be supervised by a producer who made sexist and antisemitic comments when she is a proud jewish woman. How is that ok? Richards has to do more than say that he is sorry that his bad attempts at humor flopped and do something substantial to make it right. If no action, they he needs to go.

  8. I read Richard’s resigned as host after taping the first week of Season 38, so how does Mayim become the first guest host?Still unaddressed are the results by Matt Amodio and the other first week contestants. Since results must stand, Sony will record Mayim in isolation reading the same clues and asking the same interview questions, etc. Mike did when he was live with the contestants that first week. The “special effects” should be adequate; if Hollywood can make Jurassic Park dinosaurs seem real, they’ll find a way!

    • Richards was considered a permanent host when he taped, not a guest host. Those episodes will still air with him as host.

      • The J Archive game notes will be hilarious. “First game of Season 38. New opening graphics. First game with Mike Richards as host.” four days later “Last game with Mike Richards as host.”

        • If Matt survived his first week with Mike he’ll add to his already seemingly unbreakable record of most hosts played under! But to survive another three weeks under Mayim to play under another guest host would be really incredible!

  9. Mark Warner | August 24, 2021 at 8:24 am |

    I expect that they will re edit the opening intro so that we don’t hear that Mike is the host. And that they will edit out his remarks gracefully accepting his being named the new host. They would be crazy to not do that.

  10. Marty Cunningham | August 24, 2021 at 12:47 pm |

    Wow! Another week of excitement.

    I doubt that anyone expected the week to turn out the way that it did when it started.

    As I watched last week’s re-runs, i paused to think over the card that shows at the end of each of these shows, and has all during the guest hosts. It honors Alex, stating that he is always in our hearts and ‘our’ inspiration, meaning the production company. They really need to commit to living by that card.

    At this point, i have heard enough, without having to hear everything, to agree that Mike Richards needs to be gone from any and every position within the show. If Sony wants to keep him around to EP Wheel of Fortune, that is certainly their decision. But I don’t feel that anything from the last couple weeks really honors Alex’ past work on the show.

    Alex did not want to be the star of the show which is why he wanted to be introduced as the host. The contestants and the facts (so, basically the writers) were the true stars of the show. Alex was there to keep everything moving along smoothly. Clearly the events of the last several weeks have disrupted things from running smoothly.

    Okay, give Mayim Bialik another shot, especially since she is under some form of contract with the show now anyway. But give Levar Burton another shot, too, or any other candidate, if they want it. Alex had always suggested Laura Coates as a possible replacement; honor his wishes and give her a shot. And i have heard that Jimmy from the Clue Crew reads clues for most of the warmups before taping, so give him a chance, and Sarah, too, if she is interested.

    Obviously, no one had ever had to replace Alex for over 37 years, so no one is going to have the process figured out, but it is time to make some much better decisions and to move forward and try to remove some of the tarnish from the last few weeks.

    • Thanks for mentioning the Jimmy and Sarah from the Clue Crew. Jimmy especially should have been seriously considered and hope he’s given an opportunity to show if he has hosting chops, even if for expediency purposes since the production has to scramble with the new upheaval. I also loved Sarah’s post-game, post-run interviews with the contestants. I especially loved the touching interview with Alex’s final winner Jim Gilligan.

  11. The amusing clown show of Richards enthronement and swift deposal should result in skyhigh ratings for the season premiere episode.

    His exit reminds me of the NEW COKE hoopla.

  12. Debbie Stover | August 24, 2021 at 7:33 pm |

    Andy, I just finished reading Claire McNear’s book, and she raises an interesting point vis-à-vis the possible elevation of Ken Jennings to permanent host status. On page 238, she writes, “Jeopardy! does not permit contestants to play if they know anyone employed by the show. Because [Ken] Jennings and [Brad] Rutter have both long been active in the greater trivia community, either getting hired by Jeopardy! would block a great many prospective contestants who’ve met them over the last two decades – including many of those who have been trying to get a spot on the show for the longest…. not to mention all the champions they played in reunion tournaments, including each other.” That would apply to James Holzhauer as well, obviously.

    Presumably Jeopardy would need to eliminate, or rewrite, this rule if Ken Jennings were made permanent host. Do you think this is a consideration for the show where Ken is concerned?

    Or, do you think they’ve already eliminated the rule, since Ken is now a consultant on the show?


  13. Debbie Stover | August 24, 2021 at 7:34 pm |

    To clarify: I meant that would apply to James as a contestant in future tournaments, not to James as a possible host.

  14. Jay Williams | August 24, 2021 at 7:42 pm |

    Jeopardy! needs to give Brad Rutter an overdue shot as guest host. The thinking is that if Brad is as good as a host like he was as a contestant, then he would be hired as permanent host. Plain and simple.

  15. Jeopardy and Sony, clean up your act and remove Tony, Ravi, and Mike. Time for talented females to break the game show producing ceiling?

    • PriceRight89 | August 26, 2021 at 10:31 am |

      Jeopardy! and by extension Sony could do (or could have done) that by promoting Lisa Broffman to EP after Harry retired. Their decision to stand with Mike even with him no longer hosting shows how much they care.

  16. Andy, did you see the new NYT article reporting that Mike Richards will stay as EP and that Sony is standing by him?

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