Everyone is talking about Jeopardy!‘s new hosts, Mayim Bialik and Mike Richards.
For months, the beloved quiz show has auditioned many celebrity and Jeopardy! champion guest hosts to replace Alex Trebek following his death last November. Now, Sony Pictures Television has finally made a decision to move forward with the show’s executive producer and The Big Bang Theory actress. The two will split hosting duties — Mike will become the new regular host, while Mayim will stand at the lectern during primetime specials.
When the news became official, Mayim promptly tweeted: “IT’S TRUE!!! Been waiting a long time to tell you all. Really really honored and astounded and excited for this – it’s beyond anything I ever imagined could happen.”
Meanwhile, Mike said in a news release, “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude. I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode. Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show. I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love.”
While some were quick to congratulate the pair, many seemed a bit disappointed with Jeopardy!‘s decision, including quite a few famous faces. Reactions were varied, particularly when it came to Mike. Criticism started pouring in last week when a Variety report revealed that the show was in “advanced negotiations” to name Mike as the new host. Many thought former guest host and Reading Rainbow star LeVar Burton was better suited for the position, while others called out Mike’s alleged involvement in discrimination and harassment lawsuits from his days at The Price Is Right a decade ago.
Al Roker is one of many fans not too keen on the call to hire Mike. On Thursday morning’s episode of Today, the weather anchor weighed in on the controversial decision before giving the forecast. “Well, [Jeopardy!] got one out of two right,” he said, while later adding that “Mayim is just it!”
Besides Al, see what other Jeopardy! champions and celebrities had to say about the new hosts. As you’ll see below, the reactions are mixed.
LeVar Burton: “I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure.”
Pat Sajak: “I want to welcome Mike Richards to @Jeopardy. He thinks I’m a really good host, so he is obviously a man of taste and good judgment. (A reminder to Mike that the Game Show Host Association meets on Wednesdays at the Oxnard iHop.)”
Meghan McCain: “Why couldn’t they just give it to @levarburton like literally everyone on the planet wanted?”
Rosanna Arquette: “I would have watched jeopardy with Levar Burton otherwise I’m not interested.”
Yvette Nicole Brown (one of several tweets in a thread): “The playing field was NEVER level. Never. His ‘tryout’, the lobbying it took to get it along with the scheduling of it against the freaking #Olympics , it being ONE week and ending a DAY before the leak of a host being chosen?! C’mon, Son!”
Matthew A. Cherry: “RIP Jeopardy. Was fun while it lasted.”
Ava DuVernay: “Me trying to create a show right in this moment for @levarburton to host and make an international hit.”
Former Jeopardy! Contestants
Ken Jennings: “In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have insisted to Jeopardy that I host every episode while eating a loud, juicy apple [Next tweet] BUT I’m relieved that the guest-host carousel ride is over and excited to start work on the new season. Still my favorite show.”
James Holzhauer in response to Ken: “Keep your head up, tryouts for the role of Second Best Chaser are still ongoing.”
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