Michael Davies, Jeopardy! EP, is opening up about Mayim Bialik’s departure from the game show after she announced it in December.
Speaking to reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Saturday, Davies said that when he “took over the show, we were forced into that situation from everything that had happened before, the guest hosting period.”
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“Mayim was left hosting the primetime versions. I brought in Ken [Jennings] to guest host because Mayim had her schedule, her Fox sitcom [Call Me Kat], so couldn’t host all the episodes,” he said.
“Over the past two and a half seasons, what we’ve heard a lot from our television stations and other interested parties is they were looking for more consistency. They wanted a single host,” he continued. “Mayim is a superb host on Jeopardy! We hope to continue working with her on primetime versions [and] other spinoffs of the show. Those conversations are ongoing, but Ken has really won the job.”
Davies also noted that when he started thinking about the show “long-term,” he believed that the syndicated version of the show “was always going to be better with a single host,” and the primetime specials could have other hosts.
Bialik abruptly left Jeopardy! in May in solidarity with the writers’ strike, opting out of hosting the final week of filming for Season 39. In December, Bialik shared a statement announcing her exit from the show after Sony had informed her “that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!“
The production company would follow with a statement confirming Bialik’s departure citing they had “made the decision to have one host for the syndicated show next season to maintain continuity for viewers, and Ken Jennings will be the sole host.” In the same statement, they left the door open “to continue to work” with Bialik on primetime specials.
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