‘Jeopardy!’ reveals how Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split duties as permanent hosts next season

Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings
Photo credit Getty Images

Answer: These people are super excited.

Question: What are “Jeopardy!” fans?

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After months of speculation about who would be named permanent host of the iconic game show “Jeopardy!” production company Sony Pictures pulled a surprise this week.

The temporary plan for the last year – Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik co-hosting – has turned into the permanent plan. The two will remain in their places, within some ongoing production developments.

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While it wasn’t the explosive surprise some were hoping for, it actually means even more “Jeopardy!” for fans, as Executive Producer Michael Davies laid out in a new clarifying press release about the decision.

First, he corroborated the hosting news that already leaked out earlier in the week: “I write today with the exciting news that we have closed and signed deals with Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings to be the hosts of 'Jeopardy!' moving forward.”

Despite some early stumbles with picking new hosts after the passing on longtime host Alex Trebek in November 2020, fans have come around to the new hosts – as Davies proved with some hard numbers.

"With Mayim and Ken hosting," wrote davies, "the show is considerably up in viewership year over year, with more than 27 [million] viewers tuning in each week this season…. we’re the most-watched entertainment show on all of television. Yes, all of television.”

Then came programming details about why the multiple hosts make sense. “The fact is, we have so much 'Jeopardy!' to make, and so many plans for the future, that we always knew we would need multiple hosts for the franchise," Davies added.

It seems Sony recognizes the varying demographic appeal of both hosts, and looks to leverage that across the familiar nightly version, big tournament episodes, and the upcoming “Celebrity Jeopardy!” ABC primetime series.

"In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts at the beginning of their 'Jeopardy!' hosting careers who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the traditional 'Jeopardy!' viewer," Davies explained, before disclosing their schedules.

"Ken will kick off the season in September, host the inaugural Second Chance competition and the heavily anticipated Tournament of Champions featuring Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Ryan Long, and many, many more...."

"In the meantime," he continued, "Mayim will host 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' on ABC in primetime. When she takes over from Ken in January, the current plan is to have her host a couple of new tournaments as well as the 'Jeopardy!' National College Championship, and as many weeks as she can manage with her other primetime commitment to [her FOX sitcom] 'Call Me Kat.'"

If this sounds like it might get a bit confusing, Davies assured fans not to worry. "We know you value consistency," he said, "so we will not flip flop the hosts constantly and will keep you informed about the hosting schedule."

While the show is about to hit the traditional end-of-summer repeat season, the producers have some other treats for fans to ramp up excitement for the show’s upcoming developments.

First, this time around for repeat season, Davies has “handpicked six weeks of some of our favorite episodes.” Then the show will be releasing a daily three-minute highlight recap of the day’s “Jeopardy!” episode on their website, socials, and with partner affiliates so that fans can get a quick update of key moments.

And in a move that seemed inevitable, there will be a new, official "Jeopardy!” podcast entitled "Inside Jeopardy!"

“We will be launching a topical weekly podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts,” Davies said. “Hosted by the ‘Jeopardy!’ producers, including me, “Inside Jeopardy!” will give you all an inside look into everything going on behind the scenes at America’s Favorite Quiz Show.”

Okay, so we didn’t get a big splashy name as the new host, but fans are getting a lot more “Jeopardy!” in general.

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