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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I would have been ok with either one becoming the full-time regular host, but this news suits me just fine. I like the synergistic effect of tag-teaming the hosting duties.
My feelings about the Jeopardy hosting announcement?
A resounding “Meh.”
Ken and Mayim are both fine. Each has some specific ways in which I hope they will improve, but for now, they’re OK.
Not great. Not terrible.
Michael Davies has some work to do cleaning up some of the sloppiness that has crept into the show since Harry Friedman left. The writing and judging especially could use some attention.
But the hosting this past season has been, in my view, breathtakingly OK.
Not great, not terrible, but adequate to the task.
I’m looking forward to the day when Jeopardy can go from being “serviceable” back to being actively good. We’re not there yet.
But at the very least, today’s announcement is not a step backward.
People who don’t like Ken or Mayim, or both, need to be careful what they wish for. The job could have gone to one of the guest hosts from last season who was truly divisive. This at least closes the door, for now, on something off the wall happening.
I would have preferred one or the other over both. Both are good hosts, but I hate the commentary and believe that it would go away if either were given the job outright. Oh well.
nah, people who were fans of whichever host didn’t get named (as well as people wanting someone besides those two) would still whine about it.
Congratulations on both Ken and Mayim getting the hosting job. Now we can all relax.
The reality is unless Mike Davies and Sony went in a totally different direction, or if Mayim, or, Ken, were willing to give up their other commitments, this is the best solution. Mayim will probably be the (primary?) host of Celebrity Jeopardy, plus any
Having Ken, and, Mayim, continue to split hosting duties while probably not the optimum solution (that would mean finding one host that might in time come close to what Art Fleming, and, Alex Trebec brought as hosts.)
Both Ken, and, Mayim, in their own ways are good hosts. And, given other commitments on their time, neither could be the full time host.
So, presumably, Mayim will be the (primary?) host of Celebrity Jeopardy, and, any prime time specials (including the return of the National College Championship?) while Ken, in between taping of GSN’s Masterminds, will probably be the (primary?) afternoon host.
We could have had Mike Richards. Almost any other result is going to be a win in comparison. Hopefully the drama calms down.
Now you have the official announcement.
I think there is hate for both of them. I, however, prefer Ken.