Mayim Bialik is stepping back from her Jeopardy! hosting duties to support the ongoing Writers' Strike.
The 2020 passing of iconic Jeopardy! host, Alex Trebek, left fans wondering who would succeed him. After an array of guest hosts, including Reading Rainbow host Lavar Burton, the show settled on a shared hosting model with Blossom star Mayim Bialik and Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings in July 2022. Now, The Sun reports Bialik has stepped back, paving the way for Jennings to solely host brand new syndicated episodes starting today.
The announcement of Mayim Bialik stepping back from Jeopardy! and paving the way for Ken Jennings to host the remaining Season 39 episodes has been warmly received by fans. Bialik’s decision was driven by her support for the ongoing writers’ strike and has been seen as praiseworthy. Nevertheless, the move hasn’t eclipsed the controversies since her hosting tenure began.
In May, Mayim Bialik faced significant backlash when she penalized contestant Ben Chan for a misspelling in Final Jeopardy, even though his answer was phonetically accurate. Fans expressed their dissatisfaction on social media regarding Chan’s penalty. This controversial decision led to the end of Chan’s nine-day winning streak.
Just recently, Mayim Bialik was criticized for accepting an allegedly incorrect answer during the Sweet Spots category, when a contestant answered “macaroons” to a clue about Ladurée’s famous French pastries.
Fans quickly took to social media to highlight the distinct difference between macaroons and macarons, asserting that the ruling should have favored “macarons” as the correct response.
Critics were adamant about the error, stating that macaroons and macarons are indeed different types of pastries, with one user saying, “Pretty sure macaroons are different than macarons.”
In another recent incident, Mayim Bialik faced criticism when she accepted a contestant’s response of “Internet” to a clue that fans asserted should have been answered with “Intranet.” This misstep ignited responses from fans, who pointed out that the two terms are not synonymous.
Tweets ranged from simple clarifications like “Intranet is not internet,” to more sarcastic comments like, “Are the judges asleep?”
Amid the controversies, Mayim Bialik has found support from a section of the audience who value her unique charm and intellectual vibrancy. Her fans see The Big Bang Theory star’s passion for knowledge and distinctive humor as refreshing additions to Jeopardy!.
They assert that the ongoing issues are merely teething troubles for a show in flux, advocating for patience as Bialik adapts to her new role.
As of now, the timeline for Bialik’s return to Jeopardy! remains uncertain. With Season 40 slated to air on September 11, 2023, and assuming the writers’ strike parallels the duration of the last one, which lasted 100 days, there’s a chance Mayim Bialik could be back in the host’s chair by the season’s premiere.
However, if the strike extends to the length of the longest ever recorded – 153 days – viewers may not witness her return to hosting until October 2023.
Jeopardy! is broadcast on weekdays across various networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, or The CW, depending on your location. By entering your zip code on the official Jeopardy! website, you can identify the channel that hosts the game show in your region. Additionally, online streaming platforms like Sling and Pluto offer the ability to stream Jeopardy! episodes.