Jeopardy! fans will no longer have to squirm watching Mike Richards host the show, since his last episode as "permanent" host aired on Friday. Beginning Monday, The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik will take over, following her successful guest host-run last season. Bialik will continue hosting the show through early November, when former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings takes over.
"My episodes start airing tomorrow!! So excited to get to keep doing this [Jeopardy!] work which I love so much," Bailik shared on Instagram Sunday. "And thank you [Ken Jennings], the living legend, who will be tackling hosting duties for the next few months as well!" The Call Me Kat star also shared the Jeopardy! team's announcement from last week.
When Sony Pictures Television announced Richards would be hosting Jeopardy! permanently starting this season, the studio threw a bone to fans by naming Bialik the host for primetime specials. She served as guest host for two weeks in May and June as part of the show's guest host try-outs last season. Bialik will now serve as the host of the regular syndicated weekday Jeopardy! through Nov. 5. Jennings and Bialik will then split hosting duties based on their schedules.
Since Richards was technically the "permanent" Jeopardy! host for a day, his episodes still aired. On Aug. 20, the day after those episodes were filmed, Sony finally removed Richards after The Ringer published excerpts from Richards' offensive comments in a podcast recorded during his time as an executive producer on The Price is Right. Richards remained executive producer on both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune until Aug. 31, when Sony finally removed him from that position as well. "We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks," Suzanne Prete, the executive vice president of business and strategy for both shows, wrote in a staff memo. "That clearly has not happened."
Richards' episodes coincided with contestant Matt Amodio's historic run. He won his 23rd straight game in Friday's episode, and will attempt to continue that streak in Monday's episode. During an interview with The Washington Post, Amodio said he thought he benefitted from the host drama because it took attention away from his streak. "I'm an introverted person; I've never experienced even moderate amounts of attention, much less this much attention," he told the Post. "I'm actually kind of surprised I've enjoyed it."