Actress Bialik to serve as temporary ‘Jeopardy!’ host

Wave Wire Services

CULVER CITY — Actress Mayim Bialik will take over as temporary host of “Jeopardy!” while the iconic quiz show continues its troubled search for a new permanent host, the show’s producers announced Aug. 23.

Happy to be of service to my Jeopardy! family. There’s no place I’d rather be!” Bialik tweeted.

Sony Pictures Television — which produces “Jeopardy!” — said Bialik will tape three weeks worth of episodes when production resumes this week in Culver City. Other guest hosts will be announced at a later date, Sony officials said.

Executive producer Mike Richards stepped down from the role on Aug. 20 just nine days after he was named the new host — after a series of sexually suggestive and insensitive comments he made on podcasts several years ago came to light.

Richards remains with “Jeopardy!” in a production role.

Bialik was tapped to host prime-time and spin-off specials of “Jeopardy!” on the same say Richards was announced as host of the daily version of the show. They were two of a rotating cast of guest hosts who kept the show going as producers tried to fill the role held by the late Alex Trebek since its syndicated revival began in 1984.

Other celebrities who briefly hosted the show this year included Katie Couric, LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos, Joe Buck, Robin Roberts, Savannah Guthrie, Sanjay Gupta, Mehmet Oz, Bill Whitaker, David Faber and former contestants Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen.

Bialik is best known for her roles on the hit sitcoms “Blossom” and “The Big Bang Theory.” She also stars in “Call Me Kat,” a sitcom currently airing on Fox.

The first spinoff with her as host will be the “Jeopardy! National College Championship,” which will air on ABC in 2022.

The comments that sank Richards came on podcasts in 2013 and 2014. According to The Ringer, Richards made disparaging remarks about women, little people, the mentally disabled and Jews during episodes of the “The Randumb Show.”

In addition, discrimination lawsuits filed by women who worked on “The Price is Right” — where Richards was executive producer from 2008 to 2018 — recently resurfaced.

The final week of “Jeopardy!” episodes hosted by Trebek aired in January. The legendary host died last Nov. 8 from pancreatic cancer at age 80.