Since Mayim Bialik’s abrupt firing from her Jeopardy! hosting duties, there has been endless speculation about why she was let go. Some fans think that the Big Bang Theory star was fired for standing in solidarity with striking writers in May of last year, and others think that it has to do with her being a poor host. Recently, though, Jeopardy! executive producer Michael Davies revealed the simple and surprising answer as to why Mayim Bialik was fired: “television stations and other interested parties…were looking for more consistency” and “wanted a single host,” and former champ Ken Jennings was the logical choice.
Jeopardy! Wants A Sole Host
It has been understandably difficult filling the big shoes left behind by beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, and the show’s producers pursued a compromise in which they eventually had different hosts for different versions of the show. In short, Ken Jennings hosted the daytime version of Jeopardy!, and Mayim Bialik hosted the primetime version. In addition to giving audiences a bit of hosting variety, this arrangement also allowed Bialik to complete her hosting duties while she was busy acting in her now-canceled sitcom Call Me Kat.
Mayim Bialik Shares Big News With The World
All of that changed last December when Mayim Bialik was fired from Jeopardy!, and it was the star herself who made it clear that she wasn’t voluntarily stepping down. She took to social media and, via a prepared statement, told the world how Sony gave her the depressing news “that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!” The star was transparent about her firing, but the lack of transparency on the part of the show’s producers left many fans wondering why the star lost her cushy hosting gig.
Might Not Be The End For Bialik
Michael Davies is now trying to make some of that decision-making more transparent, and he is equally determined not to burn any bridges with Mayim Bialik. He says that she and Jeopardy! producers are engaged in “ongoing conversations” about her continuing to work on “primetime versions [and] other spinoffs of the show.” If this happens, it seems that Bialik will host occasional primetime specials but that Ken Jennings will otherwise serve as the primary host going forward.
Why have Mayim Bialik only host occasional specials, though, and why give the primary Jeopardy! hosting reins to Ken Jennings? Davies said that from the next season onward, the show’s big goal is to offer “continuity for viewers.” That continuity exists for those who watch the show as it airs, but it is arguably even more important to the countless audiences who will eventually watch these episodes in syndication.
Why Did Ken Jennings Come Out On Top?
In appropriate game show fashion, this news about Mayim Bialik and her Jeopardy! hosting firing manages to raise as many questions as it answers, chief among them being “why keep Ken Jennings?” Obviously, the show could have ditched Jennings altogether and maintained the same level of host consistency with only Bialik. Therefore, whether Davies wants to admit it or not, the most logical explanation is that most of the show’s audience simply disliked Bialik as a host, something corroborated by the constant stream of online critiques ranging from how she trips over certain words and punctuation and that she has a much more strident social media presence than Trebek ever did.
The Preferred Choice
In comparison, former champ Ken Jennings understands the show inside and out, and while he has the occasional hater, he has always been the preferred choice for most of the audience over Mayim Bialik. With the loss of this hosting gig as well as the cancellation of Call Me Kat, she may have just one more major career hope: that CBS, drunk from the power of creating endless Big Bang spinoffs, finally decides to throw a Young Amy show into the mix.