CULVER CITY, Calif. — The wait is finally over, “Jeopardy!” fans.
Sony Pictures Televisions confirmed Wednesday that executive producer Mike Richards and actress Mayim Bialik have both been named hosts of the popular question-and-answer game show, following their respective stints among a string of celebrity hosts recruited to conclude production of the show’s 37th season after the death of longtime host Alex Trebek.
“Jeopardy!” will begin production on Season 38 in mid-August, with new episodes launching on Sept. 13, Sony confirmed in a news release.
According to the company, Richards will serve as the full-time host of Jeopardy!’s daily syndicated program, while Bialik will helm the game show’s primetime and spinoff series.
Bialik’s duties include hosting an all-new Jeopardy! National College Championship, slated to air in 2022.
Ravi Ahuja, chairman of global television studios and corporate development for Sony Pictures, detailed the precision applied in determining how to best continue serving “Jeopardy!” fans, while introducing new formats.
“We took this decision incredibly seriously. A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s ‘Jeopardy!’, and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek,” Ahuja said in a prepared statement, noting senior executives “pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups and got valuable input from our key partners and Jeopardy! Viewers.”
Per the new lineup, “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” winner Ken Jennings will return as consulting producer for the show, and Richards will continue to serve as executive producer of both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”.
Ahuja also confirmed that both Richards and Bialik were “at the top of our research and analysis,” calling the duo the “undeniable choices.”
For his part, Richards said in a prepared statement that he is “incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode.”
“Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close, and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love,” Richards continued.
Bialik, an acclaimed actress most noted for her TV roles on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Call Me Kat,” the latter of which she executive produces, also hosts mental health podcast “Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown” and recently wrote and directed her first feature film, “As Sick As They Made Us,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen. In addition to her TV and film credits, Bialik is also a neuroscientist.
The “Beaches” actress said that what began as an Instagram rumor repeated by her 15-year-old has morphed into “one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life!”
“I’m so grateful and excited to continue to work with Mike Richards, and I’m just over the moon to join forces with him and Sony. After all the conversations we’ve had about this partnership, I am just so ready to get started,” she added.
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