On this past Wednesday, July 27th, Sony Pictures Television announced that Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and Ken Jennings (The Chase) had signed deals to become the permanent hosts of Jeopardy!, according to The Washington Post. This decision comes after former three-decade host Alex Trebek (Free Guy) passed away in 2020 from pancreatic cancer.
Since Trebek’s death, there has yet to be a permanent host of Jeopardy! as Bialik and Jennings have been temporary hosts of the syndicated program. However, the executive producer Micheal Davies (The Men in Blazers Show) said that since Bialik and Jennings have been hosts of Jeopardy!, viewership has gone up, and the show has had more than 27 million viewers each week, according to The Washington Post.
Between both Bialik and Jennings, they will take turns hosting parts of Jeopardy!. During the season 39 premiere through December, Jennings will host as Bialik will host the running of Celebrity Jeopardy!. Bialik will take over for Jenning in January, and both will host additional content such as the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions and the Jeopardy! National College Championship, according to The Washington Post.
Bialik and Jennings have an audience of viewers who are fond of their independent television work before Jeopardy!. This audience will bring in a maximum number of viewers that have already been viewers of Jeopardy! or will begin to view the television show in response to new hosts. Boosting their positions as the new hosts of Jeopardy! will be the fact that they are now permanent hosts, which aids viewership since viewers of broadcast television “value consistency,” stated Davies in The Washington Post.
Since Sony decided to appoint Bialik and Jennings as permanent hosts of the show, they are now stating that their previous decision to make former executive producer Mike Richards (Divided) was a moment of misjudgment, according to The Washington Post. The syndicated program received backlash for appointing Richards as host due to news resurfacing about Richards receiving alleged sexual assault claims and derogatory comments made on previous podcasts.
Although the syndicated program has been through a viewer fluctuation since the death of Treberk and the hosting of Richards, the new decision to permanently have Bialik and Jennings host will hopefully keep viewer ratings on the rise.