Co-host Mayim Bialik has decided to step down from hosting duties due to the writer’s strike.
“The Big Bang Theory” alum was scheduled to do one final week of filming to wrap up season 39; however, she decided to step down to stand in solidarity with other writers.
That being said, there is a silver lining. Co-host Ken Jennings has agreed to host the final week of season 39 to bring it to its conclusion.
Mayim Bialik Steps Down From Last Week Of ‘Jeopardy!’ Filming Due To Writer’s Strike
On Thursday, Deadline was the first to report that “Jeopardy!” had become one of the first game shows to be impacted by the WGA writer’s strike. A source told the outlet that the “Blossom” child star had decided not to host the final week of season 39 in order to stand in solidarity with the striking writers. However, there is good news in store for “Jeopardy!” fans, as filming will not stop entirely.
Instead, “Greatest of All Time” tournament winner Ken Jennings will take over hosting due for the final few episodes. The episodes will be filmed at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City between Tuesday, May 16, and Friday, May 19. Although “Jeopardy!”, which is produced by Sony Pictures Television, is a WGA show and features contributions from WGA writers, the questions were written before the season – and the strike – started.
Several months ago, Sony announced that Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings would split hosting duties for the foreseeable future. Ken hosted the first part of the season from August to December. Mayim picked up hosting duties in January. She was supposed to continue hosting through the summer, but now that she has decided to step down due to the writer’s strike, Ken will finish hosting season 39 next week.
It remains to be seen what will become of season 40 if the writer’s strike continues. “Jeopardy!” writers Michele Lourd, Jim Rhine, and Billy Wisse have all joined the picket lines as part of the strike. Fortunately, the show has already been renewed for the next five seasons, so it is unlikely that this will put an end to “Jeopardy!” for good. It is possible, however, that the start of season 40 could face delays depending on how long the strike goes on. The writer’s strike will not impact the “Jeopardy! Masters” tournament, which is also hosted by Ken Jennings.
Ken Jennings Reveals That He Has ‘Retired’ From ‘Jeopardy!’ And Won’t Face James Holzhauer Again
On Tuesday, Ken Jennings sat down with TMZ Live to talk about James Holzhauer and his request for a rematch. Ken previously competed against Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer in the 2020 Greatest of All Time tournament and came out on top.
“I feel like I got away with one last time I got to play that guy,” Ken said when asked about his last run-in with James on the Alex Trebek stage. “He is the best Jeopardy! player of his generation and I can’t believe I skated away with a win, here in my fading decade.”
“So, no, ain’t gonna be no rematch,” Ken said before discussing the new Master’s tournament. “The thing about this Masters Tournament is that these players are each so great at the game. There are many clues that I swore to our writers were too hard. Like, ‘You gotta get rid of this. Nobody’s ever heard of this guy. Nobody’s ever heard of this writer. Nobody’s ever read this book.’”
“And these six players have so much Jeopardy! under their belts and they’re so smart. They just knew everything,” he continued. “I feel very lucky that I am not there in the trenches with them. There’s a lot more job security on the other side of the stage at the moment.”
When asked if he would have to compete against season 38 champions Matt Amodio or Amy Schneider to “carry the belt,” Ken replied, “Imagine more like sports where the retired athlete then, you know, comes back and he’s a couch, or there is, you know, she’s in the booth, she’s doing the play by play. This kind of thing happens in sports all the time.”
“You have to let somebody retire,” Ken continued. “You can’t just keep summoning my unquiet ghost to go play for Amy Schneider. She doesn’t need that.”