Last week, Sony Pictures Television confirmed to Fox News that Bialik will host the remainder of Season 38 alongside “Jeopardy!” legend Ken Jennings. The duo will hold down the fort while the minds behind the scenes look for a permanent replacement for Alex Trebek after Richards left the show following a slew of inappropriate comments he made in the past that resurfaced.
Bialik reflected on her “Jeopardy!” journey so far in a post written for Newsweek in which she discussed how she came to be one of the original guest hosts after Trebek died in November of 2020. She also touched upon the Richards controversy, noting that she does not have much to say on the matter as she didn’t think it would impact her position at the show as much as it has.
When Richards was first announced as the new permanent replacement for Trebek, it was revealed that Bialik would take on hosting special event episodes such as the show’s “National College Championship.”
“I didn’t immediately know who the other host was going to be, and after Mike Richards was announced as permanent host, a couple more weeks passed and then everything changed and Mike stepped down,” she wrote. “I think everyone who works with me will say that, as a person who has been acting since I was a kid, I go where I’m pointed and I do the job I’m told to do. I do what’s in front of me. I don’t really follow the news aspect of my industry too much.”
The star noted that she remained in contact with Richards after comments he made on a podcast he used to host came to light and prompted allegations that he made derogatory comments about women, people with mental disabilities, and the poor. However, Bialik says that she stayed away from getting into the weeds about all that and instead focused on supporting the show and its fans.
“That’s how I approached what was going on. Of course I was in touch with Mike as he was my boss at that time, and I don’t wish ill on him, or anyone. But the complexity of these situations is not something that can be summed up easily,” the former “Big Bang Theory” star explained. “My first response, when all of this went down, was to say to the Jeopardy! team: ‘How can I help?’ Because I am part of this family.”
In addition to noting how much fun she’s having filming Season 38 episodes and joking that she would give up her first child to get the permanent hosting job, Bialik took a moment to pay tribute to Trebek and the massive legacy and shoes he left behind that everyone, including her, are struggling to fill.
“It probably sounds crazy, but you definitely feel Alex’s presence on that stage. As someone who didn’t necessarily grow up with the constant presence of Alex in my living room, I feel him everywhere on that stage and I get to work with people who for decades worked so closely with him and whom he called friends. That’s what feels really special,” she concluded. “There will never be another Alex, on camera or off. It’s important not to try and be him, because you can’t, but as I learn more about him, I see how much he made his life an act of devotion to humanity. That’s the legacy that I hold so dear as I go to work each day.”