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Surprise Twist: ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Ken Jennings Caught ‘Off Guard’ by Mayim Bialik’s Departure Announcement

Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik
Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik (Credits: New York Post)

After Mayim Bialik, his former co-host on “Jeopardy!” left the show, Ken Jennings decided to speak out. After longstanding host Alex Trebek passed away in 2020, Bialik co-hosted with Jennings. She just made her departure from the program known. In a recent interview, Jennings revealed that he was surprised by the news and emphasized how much he enjoyed working with Bialik.

“I was taken off guard because I loved working with my Mayim, and I’m going to miss her,” he told me. But Jennings said, “I can’t speak to her decision-making process or her opinions about it,” avoiding getting too close to Bialik’s decision-making methodology.

 Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings (Credits: USA Today)

Thinking back on his time as “Jeopardy!”‘s lone presenter, Jennings expressed his excitement as a viewer. “I’m just a fan of ‘Jeopardy!’ and I’m always delighted to host when they call upon me,” he stated. He was appreciative of the chance and acknowledged that it was fortunate for him to be considered for the hosting position because he is not a broadcaster.

After over 38 years as the show’s beloved host, Alex Trebek, Jennings understood the difficulty of taking over. He said that it was special to have an ex-contestant return as a host and that he was still learning. Jennings talked about how much he loved “Jeopardy!” and the privilege of being on the show despite the challenges.

Along with background information, the story explained that Bialik and Jennings’ hosting career began in 2021 when the show held guest host auditions. The announcement of their permanent hosting came in July 2022. Bialik, a strong advocate of unions, chose not to host episodes that were shot during the writers’ strike that occurred in May, which caused production issues for the show. Bialik did not resume hosting after the strike ended on September 27.

In a message on Instagram on December 15th, Bialik verified her resignation from the company amid circulating rumors. The official “Jeopardy!” Instagram page responded by declaring that Ken Jennings will serve as the only presenter for the syndication version of the show in the upcoming season. As a thank you for Bialik’s services, the show made hints about potential future primetime special partnerships.

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