To say that chaos has been running supreme on Jeopardy! since the tragic passing of long-running host Alex Trebek in late 2020 wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. The fan-favorite game show went through a slew of prospective hosts only to land on Jeopardy! champion, Ken Jennings, and The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik as co-leads. Now, as Entertainment Weekly reports, Bialik is stepping down with Jennings set to take over as Celebrity Jeopardy! host.
Ken Jennings will replace Mayim Bialik as host of Celebrity Jeopardy!
Although Bialik, who along with her role in The Big Bang Theory is also known for her leading role in the ‘90s sitcom, Blossom, was set to be the host for Celebrity Jeopardy!, Jennings is stepping in. Bialik’s decision to pass the baton to her co-worker shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as she’s stepped down from her Jeopardy! position since May to stand in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America.
It’s also worth noting that she’s a member of SAG-AFTRA, the actors union, which is also on strike at the moment.
Why Isn’t Mayim Bialik Hosting Celebrity Jeopardy?
Entertainment Weekly revealed that a spokesperson from Bialik’s camp confirmed the switcheroo news, but they didn’t give any more feedback as to why she won’t be returning to host Celebrity Jeopardy!. So, while we don’t know that Bialik’s departing from her hosting duties is due to the historical ongoing strikes, we can presume that this is more than likely her reasoning.
While Mayim Bialik may be standing in solidarity with the two unions, her Jeopardy! co-host, Ken Jennings, has been under fire for returning to work amid the picketing.
Many viewers of the show have slammed Jennings for his decision to stand behind the podium as the strikes rage on, with one social media user even going as far as to say that Alex Trebek would “NEVER” do such a thing. Firing back, Jennings shared an important piece of information, revealing that even the beloved ex-host continued to do his job during the 2007-2008 writers’ strike.
As for what the upcoming second season of Celebrity Jeopardy! holds, it’s anyone’s guess. Bialik was the first (and only host) to step behind the podium for the spin-off, a role that suited her well as an entertainment professional.
During the premiere season, familiar names like Patton Oswalt (King of Queens), Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: Next Generation), and Michael Cera (Barbie) have proven their knowledge on the trivia stage with more stars waiting in the wings to take home the title – and the money that comes with it.
Diving into what it’s been like for Jeopardy! to push onward through the WGA strike, showrunner Michael Davies spoke about the shift on the podcast, Inside Jeopardy! According to Davies, the sophomore season of Celebrity Jeopardy was written and ready to go prior to the WGA taking to the picket lines.
When To Watch Celebrity Jeopardy
Davies revealed that that was not the case for the original show’s upcoming 40th season, which will be a mix of pieces completed before the strike and also “material that has been re-deployed from multiple seasons of the show.”Celebrity Jeopardy! returns to ABC on September 27 with Season 40 of Jeopardy! premiering on September 11.