SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — ‘Jeopardy!’ is breaking some expectations as it announces its official new host to replace Alex Trebek.
The beloved host, who died of cancer last year, left a closely-watched opening for which show producers tested multiple guest hosts.
The show has unexpectedly decided to bring on two of them.
‘Jeopardy!’ Executive Producer Mike Richards is the new permanent host, as previously reported. But he shares the title with actress Mayim Bialik, of ‘Big Bang Theory’ fame.
Bialik, who confirmed the news via Twitter, was one of the prior guest hosts, along with Richards. She will also be hosting the spinoff series, like the upcoming ‘Jeopardy! National College Championship.’
The two are taking over after nearly four decades of Trebek.
“We took this decision incredibly seriously,” said Ravi Ahuja, a Sony Pictures chairman. “A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s ‘Jeopardy!’ and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek.”
Ahuja added that senior executives at Sony “pored over footage form every episode,” as well as used research from several panels and focus groups, feedback from partners and viewers to make this decision.
Before arriving at ‘Jeopardy!’ Richards worked as an EP on game shows like ‘The Price is Right’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ He has also been a host on ‘The Pyramid’ and ‘Beauty and the Geek,’ according to his bio.
Longtime champion Ken Jennings, who was also a trial guest host, will return as a consulting producer.