Things have been shaking up in the game show world as of late with Pat Sajak announcing his retirement from Wheel of Fortune with ex American Idol host Ryan Seacrest reportedly taking over. As swift as the Wheel of Fortune hosting reveal was, the exact opposite has been playing out over the last three years since beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away. Using both Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik to cover MC duties, fans are once again calling for the latter to be fired and for Jennings to take over permanently.
Why was Ken Jennings off Jeopardy! for so long?
Ken Jennings has been on a bit of a Jeopardy! hiatus as, according to Newsweek, the ex-contestant-turned-host has had the honor of standing behind the podium at the Jeopardy! Masters competition. The spin-off sees the best of the best in the game show’s history return to the stage and duke it out for the title of the top Jeopardy! contestant.
With Jennings asking the questions here, Mayim Bialik was the full-time host for the regularly scheduled program until she stepped out in solidarity with the writers’ strike when it began in May.
And, while Ken Jennings wasn’t expected back from his Jeopardy! hiatus quite yet, perhaps due to Mayim Bialik’s absence, Monday, July 3, marked his return to the original show with fans giddy to see him back in the saddle. As Jeopardy! audiences are famous for, the fans took to Twitter to share their excitement for Jennings’ cut-short hiatus with many calling for him to be the only host from here on out.
Monday, July 3, marked Ken Jennings’ return to the original show, with fans giddy to see him back in the saddle.
After a handful of personalities, including Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton, were considered for the important job of replacing Alex Trebek, it was announced at the beginning of the current season that Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik would be the official duo to take over the hosting position.
Since then, both have faced choppy waters with each being called out for various blunders in both presenting style, banter with contestants, and answers.
While both Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik have their own posse of fans, it seems that the latter has caught more flack when it comes to those on online platforms firing off on their distaste for her. Back in August 2022, The Big Bang Theory alum delivered a statement on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast in which she appreciates some of the “constructive criticism” but is also sure to “take everybody’s opinion both with a grain of salt and also believe everybody has a right to their opinion.”
Jeopardy fans took to social media to celebrate Ken Jennings return to Jeopardy! and roast Mayim Bialik as calls for her firing continue.
After years in the public eye, it seems that Bialik has figured out the best way to deal with the haters while still managing to keep her head in the game.
Likewise, Ken Jennings also delivered a statement on the podcast where he celebrated the show’s “diverse audience” but noted that there was no way that they could make everyone happy. Pointing to those who are calling for the show to only feature one host, Jennings said that part of the reason the competition series works right now is by having both him and Mayim Bialik behind the podium to ensure that there’s something for everyone.
As for Ken Jennings’ return to Jeopardy! it seems that for the foreseeable future, he’s back as Mayim Bialik stands strong with The Writers Guild of America in their fight against the studios for fair wages.