The splitting of Jeopardy!‘s host duties will continue in Season 39, with Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings continuing to split hosting duties. The news was confirmed today by Jeopardy. Jennings and Bialik had split hosting duties in Season 38 following the firing of Mike Richards.
This news hopefully closes the nearly-90 week reality show circus that has engulfed Jeopardy! regarding the succession of Alex Trebek, who passed away in November 2020. Jennings was seen by many to have been Trebek’s favored successor, , especially after Jennings was gifted a set of Trebek’s cufflinks. Mayim Bialik was a popular guest host during Season 37, a star on The Big Bang Theory, and the star of FOX’s Call Me Kat. Per the announcement, Jennings will host the first part of Season 39, including the Second Chance Tournament, the Tournament of Champions, while Bialik will host this fall’s Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament.
While reaction within the fandom to this announcement has been mixed to this news, I don’t think there is an outcome that would be universally lauded at this point (due to our society today becoming much too fractured). I also currently have worries that comparisons between the two hosts will still be made by partisans of each host, which will ultimately sour the collegiality that the community has had in the past. That being said: I hope that this announcement stops the very intense lobbying job that many tabloid publications were doing in an apparent attempt to discredit Mayim Bialik as a host. I also hope that this announcement will stop the constant lobbying from so-called “fans” who, often for misogynistic or anti-Semitic reasons, do not want to see Bialik hosting. (To fans, if you don’t like this: The phrase “This is not an airport, you do not need to announce your departure”, comes to mind here.)
Other initiatives announced by the show today include an “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast, hosted by Jeopardy! producers, including Executive Producer Michael Davies.
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