When longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, 80, passed away after a long battle with cancer on November 8, 2020, fans of the game show were devastated. The biggest question for viewers and contestants, of course, was who would fill Trebek’s shoes as the new host.
Following months of guest hosts including Reading Rainbow host Lavar Burton, Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, and former champions like Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen, Bialik landed the job following controversy involving former Jeopardy! producer Mike Richardson.
Bialik has faced her own minor controversies, including fans’ frustration at her use of the term “Single Jeopardy” to describe the first round of the show — “Double Jeopardy” has long been the name of the second round — and requests from producers to “tone it down” when dealing with contestants.
Bialik’s tenure on the long-running game show has already given rise to some popular champions, including Amy Schneider, who won 40 games, and recent champion, Mattea Roach, who broke the win streak record for a Canadian contestant.
The current host’s future on Jeopardy is unknown at this time, however, as Ken Jennings’s recent exit from The Chase has many viewers convinced that he will be taking over full-time hosting duties next season.
As it turns out, though, even if Bialik ultimately exits the lectern on the main Jeopardy program, she may very well stick around for the long-running game show’s new spinoff series, Celebrity Jeopardy.
Joining the ranks of shows like Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and Celebrity Family Feud, the first-ever Jeopardy spinoff that will air independently of the normal program was confirmed during the 2022 Upfronts in New York City. An official Tweet reads:
It’s official: Celebrity Jeopardy! is coming to @ABC! Join us Sunday evenings this fall
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) May 17, 2022
A host for the weekend series — Jeopardy itself only airs on weeknights — has not been confirmed, but many are already speculating that Bialik will be given hosting duties.
In addition to Celebrity Jeopardy, the series is set to have a brand new tournament later this year, as well.
Executive Producer Michael Davies previously confirmed the Second Chance Tournament on the show’s official blog. Davies shared that he “started thinking about a Second Chance Tournament almost the day I started on Jeopardy!, when Jessica Stephens beat Matt Amodio, but lost to Jonathan Fisher by just $401.”
He went on to write:
…we’re actually going to do it, and slot it in right before the ToC. More details to follow, including the criteria we will be using to select the rest of the participants. To be clear, though, the eligibility time frame will be the same as for this year’s ToC: We are looking at contestants who appeared on Jeopardy! since the last Tournament of Champions who we believe deserve a second shot.
Exact dates for the 2022 Tournament of Champions and Second Chance Tournament have not been announced.
What do you think about Celebrity Jeopardy?