Mayim Bialik to step in as temporary Jeopardy host after Mike Richards quits
The Big Bang Theory star was recently tapped to host the Jeopardy primetime specials and spin-offs.
The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik, the newly tapped host of the Jeopardy primetime specials and spin-offs, will now fill in as host of the Jeopardy syndicated show as producers search for a new permanent host to replace Mike Richards.
Bialik is currently scheduled to tape 15 episodes across three weeks of programming for when production resumes this week. However, Sony Television will be bringing in a new roster of guest hosts.
Richards, still an executive producer on Jeopardy, sent a memo to his staff on Friday announcing that he would be stepping down as host of the game show after resurfaced allegations of inappropriate behavior towards women. His past controversial comments on the Randumb Show podcast also came back to the limelight after he had been tapped to replace the late Alex Trebek on Jeopardy.
Richards issued multiple apologies in light of the criticism. "It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago," he said in one such statement. "Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry. The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around."
He continued, "Even with the passage of time, it's more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them."
EW previously reported that Richards had filmed a week's worth of shows that are still set to air starting Monday, Sept. 13.
CNN's Brian Stelter and former The Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni both report that Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings is now a frontrunner to take over for Richards. Jennings was the first guest host on Jeopardy following Trebek's death in November 2020. Reps for Sony TV didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.