Mayim Bialik Roped In As Interim ‘Jeopardy!’ Host After Mike Richards’ Exit

WASHINGTON — Actor Mayim Bialik is an interim “Jeopardy!” host after the show’s executive producer Mike Richards stepped down following a cascade of scandals.

“The Big Bang Theory” alum who was previously tapped to host the “Jeopardy!” primetime and spinoff series will take the podium this week in Richards’ absence — a spokesperson for Sony Pictures Television confirmed.

The 45-year-old actor will shoot for 15 episodes (three weeks episodes total) — when filming resumes this week.

Additional guest hosts will be announced soon after the production resumes for the upcoming 38th season of the quiz show, premiering on Sept. 13, 2021.

Earlier in August 2021, Sony Pictures TV announced that executive producer Richards had been selected to succeed the legendary host Alex Trebek as the face of the quiz show.

However, on Aug. 20, 2021, Richards announced that he is stepping down from his role as a host from the show after controversial clips featuring him making disparaging comments about women on a previous podcast he hosted surfaced on social media.

He made the comments on “The Randumb Show” while also serving as executive producer of “The Price Is Right.” Richards had asked his female assistant and his female co-host whether they had ever taken nude photos in the podcast. In another episode, he called his co-host a “booth ho.”

Reportedly, the 46-year-old TV producer will remain the show’s executive producer. The episodes he shot on Aug. 19, 2021, as his first and only day as “Jeopardy!” permanent host, will run on Sept. 13, 2021.

While confirming his exit as a host from the show, Sony Pictures TV, in a statement, said that Richards’ image was too battered for him to take the helm of one of television’s most prestigious and popular brands.

“We support Mike’s decision to step down as host. We were surprised this week to learn of Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past. We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward,” said Sony Pictures TV.

However, the studio also voiced support for him, revealing that he will remain as the show’s executive producer.

“Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the ‘Jeopardy!’ team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP, he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect,” said Sony Pictures TV in the statement.

A new round of guest hosts will be approached to shoot episodes to launch the show’s 38th year in syndication next month.

The search for a permanent host to follow the footsteps of Trebek, who died in November 2020 at age 80, continues. Possible hosts include Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Dr. Mehmet Oz, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Aaron Rodgers, and former contestants Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Ojaswin Kathuria and Nikita Nikhil

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