Sony Pictures Entertainment has entered into long-term deals that will have the two hosts continue to split duties on the popular syndicated game show, according to a person familiar with the matter, while retaining Bialik to host primetime editions of the show as well as the new “Celebrity Jeopardy!” show expected to start up at ABC. With Sony eager to boost more versions of the program, this person says, more than one host was required. Bialik continues to work on the Fox sitcom, “Call Me Kat,” which has been scheduled for a third season.
A spokesperson for Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has for months been navigating the ultimate succession for Alex Trebek, the longtime “Jeopardy!” host who died in 2020, did not respond to queries for comment.
The dual-host solution speaks to ambitions behind the venerable game show, which originally debuted on NBC in 1964 before evolving into the current early-evening version 20 years later. “With all of our plans for ‘Jeopardy!’ — which is more ‘Jeopardy!,’ not less, more versions — we’re going to need multiple hosts to represent the entire audience, to represent the entire country, in order to take this franchise forward,” executive producer Michael Davies told Variety in June.
But the search for a host has been a laborious one. Producers initially relied on a parade of celebrity guest hosts that ranged from Katie Couric to LeVar Burton to complete the show’s 2020-2021 season. The final answer was supposed to be Mike Richards, an executive producer, but he stepped down after just two weeks due to the discovery of controversial remarks he had made in the past.
More to come…