'Jeopardy!' Hosts Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik

Ken Jennings Breaks Silence On Mayim Bialik's 'Jeopardy!' Exit

Home / Entertainment / Ken Jennings Breaks Silence On Mayim Bialik's 'Jeopardy!' Exit

By Kristin Myers on December 26, 2023 at 10:30 AM EST

Trivia legend Ken Jennings is finally breaking his silence on Mayim Bialik and her sudden departure from hosting "Jeopardy!".

Originally signed on to host primetime specials, "The Big Bang Theory" actress became one of the main cohosts of "Jeopardy!" and hosted the first season of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" After taking a step back from hosting during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the "Blossom" child star announced earlier this month that she was not returning to host "Jeopardy!" anymore, pleasing some fans and upsetting others.

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Mayim Bialik Announces She Is No Longer Hosting 'Jeopardy!'

Mayim Bialik No Longer The Host Of 'Jeopardy!'
Instagram | Mayim Bialik

On Friday, December 15, the "Call Me Kat" actress announced that she was not going to be hosting "Jeopardy!" any longer, making it sound as though she had been let go.

"As the holiday break begins in Hollywood, I have some Jeopardy! news, she wrote in the caption of a brief Instagram post. "Sony has informed me that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!"

"I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for a primetime Emmy for hosting this year and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Jeopardy! family," she continued. "For all of you who have supported me through this incredible journey and to the fans, contestants, writers. staff and crew of America's Favorite Quiz Show, thank you."

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'Jeopardy!' Releases Their Own Statement

Jeopardy! Reacts to Mayim Bialik leaving
Instagram | Jeopardy!

About an hour later, the "Jeopardy!" Instagram account released its own statement on her exit, making it sound like the "Blossom" child star was the one who had decided to walk away from the show.

"Mayim Bialik has announced she will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!" they wrote in a brief Instagram statement. "We made the decision to have one host for the syndicated show next season to maintain continuity for our viewers, and Ken Jennings will be the sole host for syndicated Jeopardy!. We are truly grateful for all of Mayim's contributions to Jeopardy!, and we hope to continue to work with her on primetime specials."

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Ken Jennings Breaks Silence On Mayim Bialik's Exit

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings on the set of Call Me Kat
Instagram | Mayim Bialik

Although many waited for Ken Jennings to make a statement on Mayim’s exit on social media, the trivia guru waited until an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to break his silence on her exit from the show.

“It took me off guard, because I loved working with my Mayim and I’m gonna miss her. I can’t speak to her decision-making process or her opinions about it,” he explained. “But on my end, I’m just a fan of Jeopardy! and I’m always delighted to host when they call upon me. I just feel extremely lucky to have even been considered for this job as a non-broadcaster.”

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“It’s kind of a weird thing to try to bring back an ex-contestant to host, and I’ve obviously been learning as I go. But I loved growing up with Jeopardy! where Alex was the host of that show for almost 38 years, and people just kind of felt like he was part of their family, and it’s impossible to fill those shoes,” he continued. “But it’s such an honor and hopefully I look forward to 37 more years of doing it, when I’ll be a very, very old man.”

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Ken Jennings Talks What It’s Like Being A ‘Jeopardy!’ Host

Ken Jennings at the ABC Television's Winter Press Tour 2020 - Arrivals

In the same interview, Ken talked a bit more about what it is like to host “Jeopardy!” and how much improvisation is required.

“I find that as a host, it’s a little more like being a war correspondent where you really have to be prepared for anything to happen. You can’t have a game plan because if somebody’s riffing or somebody doesn’t understand the rules, you’re just gonna have to roll with it and try to keep the game moving,” he explained. “And luckily, the game kind of does push itself forward and the celebrities catch the vibe of that, but it makes it very fun and unpredictable for me as well.”

Ken Jennings will return to host "Celebrity Jeopardy!" when the semifinals and finals air starting on ABC on Tuesday, January 2, at 8 PM ET. Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ghosts), Mira Sorvino (Shining Vale), and Lisa Ann Walter (AbbottElementary) will be competing during the first round of semifinals.

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