Jeopardy! will be airing a handful of Mike Richards-hosted episodes this week, despite his previous exit and firing. Richards was an executive producer on Jeopardy! and in August was announced as the show's new permanent host. Less than two weeks later, he stepped down from the hosting position, after the resurfacing of some sexist and insensitive comments he made during a 2013 podcast. Then, on Aug. 31, he was officially let go from his producer roles on both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
At the time Richards was fired, he had already filmed the first five episodes of Jeopardy! Season 38 which, The Wrap reports, will still air. While it's not necessarily explained, the reason for the episodes still airing is possibly due to gameplay rules. We can speculate that the current producers of the show would deem retaping all the episodes as unfair to the players. However, Richards' run of episodes will only take place this debut week, with former Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik taking over for the following three weeks of episodes. After that, the show will move back to the rotating host schedule it utilized during Season 37, following the death of iconic Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.
#TheGameContinues today with brand-new episodes of #Jeopardy!— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) September 13, 2021
Don't miss returning champ Matt Amodio and 2 challengers as they face off on the newly-dedicated Alex Trebek Stage.
Read more updates here: https://t.co/qwqhIOO1IQ pic.twitter.com/Ozntb2Tffm
Bialik was one of many interim hosts who filled in the current season of Jeopardy!, and was recently named the main host for all forthcoming Jeopardy! primetime specials. During an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, ahead of her initial hosting stint airing on TV, Bialik spoke about the incredible opportunity and joked that the experience "was literally not believable. That's what the word unbelievable is for." She went on to praise late longtime host Alex Trebek and his legacy, calling him "a beloved personality" and "a beloved person on that stage."
"It's something I did with tremendous humility and respect for him and just, I mean, I had an unbelievable time," she added. "My brain really works the way Jeopardy! brain needs to work." Bialik then shared that hosting Jeopardy! requires you to be able to "think fast and think on your feet." She then quipped that anytime she "didn't pronounce everything perfectly," they would come back and get "it in pickups."
Bialik has been quite busy lately, even on top of her new Jeopardy! gig. The actress and neuroscientist regularly puts out new episodes of her podcast, Mayim Bialik's Breakdown, and she has a new sitcom, Call Me Kat, which aired its Season 1 finale in March. It was revealed earlier this year that Call Me Kat will be returning for Season 2 on Fox.