Mayim Bialik to interim host 'Jeopardy!' following Mike Richards' exit


Mayim Bialik will serve as interim host of "Jeopardy!" following the abrupt resignation of Mike Richards, a Sony Pictures Television spokesperson confirmed to NBC News.

Richards, the executive producer of "Jeopardy!" who was tapped to succeed Alex Trebek, announced Friday that he was stepping aside as host.

The news came after The Ringer reported Richards made disparaging comments about women, Jews, poor people and Haiti seven years ago, while he was co-executive producer of “The Price Is Right” and hosting a podcast called “The Randumb Show.”

Both Richards and Bialik were among more than a dozen people — including former top contestants and celebrities — who served as interim guest hosts for season 37 of the show after Trebek's death in November.

Bialik, 45, was already slated to host prime-time specials and spinoffs of the popular game show. "The Big Bang Theory" star also earned bachelor's and doctorate degrees from UCLA in neuroscience.

"She is currently scheduled to tape three weeks of episodes (15 episodes) when production resumes this week," the Sony spokesperson said. "As we move forward with production on this season of 'Jeopardy!,' additional guest hosts will be announced."

New "Jeopardy!" episodes are set to start airing Sept. 13, a Sony Pictures Television rep said.

In his statement last week, Richards apologized. Sony said it supported Richards' decision to step down.

CNN first reported that Bialik will be the first guest host of the quiz show.

Mayim Bialik to interim host 'Jeopardy!' following Mike Richards' exitTim Fitzsimons

Tim Fitzsimons is a reporter for NBC News. he/him

Mayim Bialik to interim host 'Jeopardy!' following Mike Richards' exitDiana Dasrath

Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.

Daniel Arkin contributed.