When Alex Trebek died on November 8, 2020, so began a new era for “Jeopardy!,” the hit game show he had became familiar with. For the first time since 1984, someone else had to take on permanent hosting duties for the quiz series. A revolving door of guest hosts stopped by to try the gig out before “Jeopardy!” standout Ken Jennings and “Big Bang Theory” staple Mayim Bialik were chosen to share the job. Now, just over two years after joining the “Jeopardy!” team, Bialik is bidding the television favorite goodbye.
The news of Bialik’s leaving arrived on December 15, with the now-former “Jeopardy!” host announcing her exit via Instagram. “Sony has told me that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of ‘Jeopardy!’ I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for a primetime Emmy for hosting this year and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the ‘Jeopardy!’ family,” she wrote in her post, going on to thank those who have supported her and the program throughout her time at the forefront of it.
There has been no official comment at press time from Jeopardy Productions or Sony Television about Bialik’s dismissal. This news comes a few months into “Jeopardy!” Season 40, which Bialik has been noticeably missing from.
Mayim Bialik made her first “Jeopardy!” hosting appearance in Season 37’s 176th installment, going on to appear throughout the rest of the season as a guest host. With Season 37 in the books, she and Ken Jennings took on co-hosting duties, which she kept throughout Season 38 and much of Season 39. In the middle of the latter season, the historic Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists strike kicked off on July 14, resulting in Bialik not hosting the final week.
“Jeopardy!” Season 40 launched on September 11, and the SAG-AFTRA strike officially concluded on November 9, making it seem as though Bialik’s return was near. The season continued to unfold, and yet there was no sign of her at the stage, which we now know was due to the decision to remove her from the program altogether. For now, Jennings has apparently taken over as the full-time “Jeopardy!” host. It remains to be seen if he will continue to lead the quiz series and its various spin-offs on his own, or if the minds behind “Jeopardy!” are seeking a replacement for Bialik to join him.