Thursday, December 14, 2023

Jeopardy! - News and Updates

When will Mayim Bialyk return to Jeopardy!?

Now that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes have been resolved, when will Mayim Bialiyk return to her hosting duties?

It remains unclear if and when Mayim Bialyk will return.  Bialyk stepped away from hosting Jeopardy! back in May in solidarity with the WGA strike.  As of this writing, she has not announced whether she will be returning to the popular quiz show.  Ken Jennings as the sole host since then and he has also replaced Bialyk as host of Celebrity Jeopardy!

EDITOR'S UPDATE:  Mayim Bialyk has announced that she will not be returning to Jeopardy!  On Friday, December 15, she wrote of her departure on Instagram.  "Sony has informed me that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!  I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for a primetime Emmy for hosting this year and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Jeopardy! family."

Sony issued the following statement: "We made the decision to have one host for the syndicated show next season to maintain continuity for our viewers, and Ken Jennings will be the sole host for syndicated Jeopardy!  We are truly grateful for al of Mayim's contributions to Jeopardy!, and we hope to continue to work with her on primetime specials."

Change coming to Jeopardy!

A big change is coming to Jeopardy! beginning on December 19th.  During a recent episode of the podcast Inside Jeopardy!" producer Sarah Whitcomb Fox revealed that the show will unveil a new logo and opening tittle sequence.  At present, every Jeopardy! episode begins with a rotating globe containing 19 different box images.  The images consist of footage from previous episodes and contestants.  When the globe stops spinning, the Jeopardy! logo appears on the screen and the camera pans to the three contestants on stage.  Announcer Johnny Gilbert introduces them in his distinctive voice.  

The new format has been compared to Saturday Night Live's opening segments.  There will be a little behind-the-scenes activity leading up to the show.  The new title sequence will debut on December 19th, along with the Season 39 edition of Second Chance tournament for players who lost their initial game.  This marks the Season 39 post-season, postponed as a result of the writers strike.

As far as the changes are concerned, I can't say I'm very enthusiastic about them.  I'm quite satisfied with the opening sequence as it is right now.  Sometimes change is necessary, but I think there have been too many changes since Alex Trebek died.  I realize that some of those changes have occurred because of the Hollywood strikes.  I do enjoy the tournaments, but right now it seems there are too many of them.  When there are so many of them, they do not seem so special.  As a Jeoppardy! fan, I hope that the show recovers from the negative effects of the strikes.  I also hope that Mayim Bialyk returns, just because she has a different personality than Ken Jennings.  I like the two-host setup.  (As you've read above, it isn't going to happen).

 - Joanne

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