Actress Mayim Bialik is stepping down from her role as host of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” amid the SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Although she hosted the first season of the ABC series, she will be replaced by “Greatest of All Time” tournament winner Ken Jennings when the season picks back up on September 27.
Ken Jennings To Replace Mayim Bialik As Host Of ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’
Unfortunately for fans of Mayim Bialik, the 47-year-old actress will not be hosting the second season of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” due to the ongoing writer’s strike and the SAG-AFTRA strike, as reported by Deadline. This is not the only time that the “Blossom” child star has stepped down from her hosting duties, as she previously decided not to host the final week of season 39 to stand in solidarity with the striking writers.
The second season of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” will premiere on ABC at 8 PM ET on Wednesday, September 27. It will be followed by the season premieres of “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” at 9 PM ET and “The 100,000 Pyramid” at 10 PM ET. All shows will be available to stream on Hulu the next day.
Mayim once told People magazine in 2021 that being the host of “Jeopardy!” was one of the most “iconic” things that she would ever do in her career. “I’ve been saying it’s really one of the most iconic things I think that I’m ever going to do in my career,” she said at the time. “It’s going to feel like Forrest Gump like I’ve been inserted into the Jeopardy! set.”
“There’s a lot of responsibility that falls on the host,” she continued. “I think also there’s a lot of iconic pressure. When I was looking over some of the scripts, I was thinking, how would Alex [Trebek] say this? And that’s probably not who I’m expected to be, Alex Trebek, but in my head, I am Alex Trebek — that’s who I want to be.”
The ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament Of Champions Has Been Postponed Due To Writer’s Strike
Late last month, many former contestants revealed that they had declined their invitations to the annual Tournament of Champions in order to stand in solidarity with the striking writers. Ray Lalonde, a painter from Toronto who won almost $400,000 from thirteen games last season, took to Reddit to say that, although he had been invited to the tournament, he would not cross the picket line to compete.
“I am and will always be grateful for the experience I had on the show and the opportunity to participate in the TOC is beyond a dream come true for me. That being said, I believe that the show’s writers are a vital part of the show and they are justified in taking their job action to secure a fair contract for themselves and their fellow WGA members,” he wrote.
He went on to say, “As a supporter of the trade union movement, a union member’s son, and a proud union member myself I have informed the show’s producers that if the strike remains unresolved I will not cross a picket line to play in the tournament of champions.”
Other Tournament of Champions candidates, including Chris Pannullo, Hannah Wilson, Ben Chan, Troy Meyer, Ben Goldstein, Luigi de Guzman, and Suresh Krishnan, all agreed to stand in solidarity with the striking writers and refused to compete as well.
Shortly after their statements went viral, Sony Pictures Television told The Hollywood Reporter that it “never had any intention” of hosting the Tournament of Champions until after the writer’s strike was resolved.
“Jeopardy! never had any intention of producing a Tournament of Champions for season 39 until the strike is resolved,” a spokesperson for the show said in a statement. “Further, no contestants from season 39 have been contacted regarding their availability for any postseason tournaments, including the TOC. The Jeopardy! postseason represents the pinnacle of our competition, and it should feature our strongest players playing our toughest original material.”
“Jeopardy! has a long history with and tremendous respect for the WGA and our writers. We have always been careful to honor our WGA agreements and we would never air game material not created by WGA writers,” the statement continued. “However, just as we did, led by Alex Trebek, during the 2007-2008 strike, we will deliver first-run episodes again this fall to more than 200 affiliate stations nationwide. Our current plan is to go into a holding pattern of sorts, pushing back the season 39 postseason to first produce original episodes featuring the best of our WGA written material.”
The statement concluded: “Everyone at Jeopardy! hopes that the guilds and the AMPTP can reach a fair resolution quickly. Celebrity Jeopardy! will return on ABC this fall with original material written by WGA writers before the strike. Jeopardy! and Celebrity Jeopardy! are covered under the SAG-AFTRA Network Code, which remains in effect.”