Jeopardy Duties: Ken Jennings called an opportunist for replacing Mayim Bialik’ Ken Jennings is facing backlash after taking over hosting duties for Mayim Bialik after the ‘Big Bang Theory’ star reportedly stepped away from the game show podium.
Jeopardy Duties: Ken Jennings called an opportunist for replacing Mayim Bialik
Bialik, 47, is said to have quit her hosting gig in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America with just one week of filming left in Season 39. Sony Pictures’ lot in Culver City, California was said to have been the site of filming the final episodes between May 16 and May 19. Before the hit show’s summer hiatus, Jennings stepped in to fill the position. However, the move did not sit well with some ‘Jeopardy!’ staff members and was said to have upset viewers as well.
People ‘rooting’ for Mayim Bialik
The writers’ strike notably brought several high-rating shows to a screeching halt, including ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.’ Reports suggest soap operas will soon run out of completed episodes to air.
That said, TV sources have excoriated Jennings as an “opportunist” for crossing the picket line. Speaking to Radar Online, the insider said the former ‘Jeopardy!’ champ “showed his true colors” as he took home tens of thousands more per episode as host. “It’s one thing for a crew member who can’t afford to quit to keep coming to work — but he’s getting a fat paycheck,” the insider said.
Bialik made the brave choice to support the show’s writers, even at the expense of her career, according to the insider, and many people were “rooting” for her to host the show full time. Jennings crossing the picket line, according to the tipster, was seen as a grandstand play, even by him.
‘This show is so hard to host’
Jennings co-hosted the show with Bialik after the tragic death of longtime host Alex Trebek in 2021. The iconic host died at 80 after a long battle with cancer and a long run on the show, which he always cherished. “I love spending time with bright people … and Jeopardy! puts me in touch with bright folks all the time,” Trebek told NPR in 2016.
Executive producer Michael Davies has since urged fans to be patient with both Bialik and Jennings. “When Ken is hosting and Mayim is hosting, there’s zero difference [in ratings],” he told Vulture in an interview in May. He said there was “an incredible fracture at the heart of Jeopardy” when he first arrived, noting Trebek’s demise, and that there was a lot of rebuilding to do after he left.
“This show is so hard to host,” Davies explained. “I wish many of our fans were more patient in understanding that we’re dealing with two hosts. Mayim is a very experienced actress. Ken is a very experienced Jeopardy! player. They’re both at the beginning of their hosting careers. I back them both,” he added.