The search for the next permanent host of Jeopardy! was restarted this week after Mike Richards stepped down just days after taking over the reins of the wildly successful TV game show. Richards had been named successor to long-time host Alex Trebek, who passed away last November after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. Richards, who also serves as executive producer of Jeopardy!, was forced out of his new gig after recordings surfaced of comments he made while hosting a podcast several years ago, which some people reportedly found offensive. With Richards stepping back, the door has opened for actress Mayim Bialik to take over hosting duties on an interim basis. However, the Big Bang Theory star faces plenty of challengers at the sportsbooks, where former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings and Star Trek alumnus Levar Burton lead the way.
MyTopSportsbooks takes a look at all the favorites, and the best bets as the search for the next permanent host of Jeopardy! continues. Sports bettors getting in on Entertainment betting action for the first time should refer to our betting guide for tips on how to hone their betting strategies.
|Odds to be Next Full-time Host of Jeopardy!|
|**If Bialik is new host all bets at Bovada settled no action|
Bialik Supremely Qualified
The death of Alex Trebek last fall marked the end of an era in the television world. The Canadian-born TV personality emerged as a cultural icon during his 36-year stint as host of Jeopardy!, claiming eight Daytime Emmy Awards along the way. And his passing has sparked an intriguing race to fill his shoes. Currently, Mayim Bialik is considered a heavy favorite to succeed Trebek. The oddsmakers at Bovada appear to have such confidence in the 45-year-old’s chances of taking over hosting duties that they have deemed on all bets on who will be next host to be no action if and when she gets the nod. However, it is a different story at BetOnline, where Bialik lags behind the favourite Ken Jennings as a +200 second favorite.
Hold up. Actress Mayim Bialik, who played neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, actually has a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA? Wow! I’ll be got damn. Did not know that. Just heard it today. IMPRESSIVE. pic.twitter.com/x1om348HhB
— Kenny BooYah! 🖖🏾 (@KwikWarren) June 13, 2021
In addition to her strong on-screen presence and popularity with TV watchers, Bialik also brings solid academic credentials to the table. The former child star of the 1990s TV comedy series “Blossom” did not neglected her studies growing up. Like “Amy Farrah Fowler”, the character she played in Big bang Theory, Bialik earned a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience, with minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies, and later earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA.
Could Controversy Dog “Call Me Kat” Star?
However, huge potential obstacles could eliminate Bialik from the running to be permanent host of the syndicated edition of the show. Her new sitcom “Call Me Kit” has been renewed for a second season. Bialik is also mother to two teenaged children, and has publicly stated that one of her priorities is to make more time for them.
Backlash Over Mayim Bialik’s Unearthed Vaccine Remarks Intensifies as She’s Chosen to Guest Host Jeopardy! https://t.co/3M6VYlUTUC
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) August 24, 2021
The possibility of Bialik facing the same sort of backlash that bounced Richards from the hosting role lingers. The daughter of Jewish immigrants who migrated from Eastern Europe, Bialik has been vocal about her views on Zionism and support for Israel, topics that are likely to spark opposition. She has also been forced to defend herself over past comments questioning the effectiveness of vaccines.
Ken Jennings Holds the Edge
That opens the door for several legitimate contenders to succeed Richards. Over at BetOnline, record-setting Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings is perched as a heavy -150 favorite to be the new host, while at Bovada, LeVar Burton gets the nod as a -125 bet.
[🔉Sound up]: October 8th, 2004: Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings answers wrong deliberately and causes one of the most hilarious moments in Jeopardy history: pic.twitter.com/OmFJreAm1B
— JustynTyme (@JustynTyme_) August 16, 2021
Jennings rose to fame with an epic 74-game win streak on Jeopardy! back in 2004 that netted him a total of over $2.5 million in winnings. The streak earned the 47-year-old a slew of media appearances, and subsequent opportunities to guest host the game show that made him famous. And while Jennings has also been called out for past controversial posts on Twitter, they are unlikely to prevent him from assuming hosting duties since they targeted former US President Donald Trump and his family.
Can Burton Overcome Shaky Hosting Debut?
While he is most famous for his portrayal of Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: Next Generation”, LeVar Burton has also earned a loyal following resulting from his 23-year stint as producer and host of the children’s educational television series “Reading Rainbow”.
LeVar Burton has a shaky “Jeopardy!” debut, but he’s still very much in this game https://t.co/RUFsKJYhZK
— Salon (@Salon) July 28, 2021
But while Burton enjoys widespread recognition from varied audiences, he must overcome what has to be considered a shaky start while guest hosting. In addition, producers may also be eyeing a new host who is younger than the 64-year-old actor.
Rodgers, Cooper, Coates Intriguing Dark Horses
Further down the Jeopardy! odds are a pair of familiar names, and one less familiar candidate. Aaron Rodgers has been in the news regularly as speculation continues as to where the reigning NFL MVP will be play next season, and is a a surprisingly strong +725 bet at Bovada. And CNN personality Anderson Cooper is pegged as a +2000 wager at BetOnline.
Aaron Rodgers tells @AdamSchein that he “definitely” would have accepted an offer to become @Jeopardy host; since the interview was recorded, the job has suddenly become open again. https://t.co/MdUSCTOxpD
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 20, 2021
An unfamiliar face to many viewers, Laura Coates sits as a surprisingly strong +650 bet at BetOnline despite not being among the recent assortment of interim hosts. The omission of the CNN legal analyst also sparked a furor among her supporters, who pointed to Trebek’s publicly stated support of Coates in the final months before his death.
Who Alex Trebek wanted to replace him.
It’s all coming together now… pic.twitter.com/sklq9QZQbu
— ⭐️ with a Y ⭐️ (@wyntermitchell) August 19, 2021
While any of the candidates on the odds board can make a strong case to inherit Trebek’s role as permanent host, it is tough seeing Jeopardy! producers going any other way than to hand the reins over to the man who generated so many headlines for the show during his time as a contestant. That makes Ken Jennings the smart pick as a +125 wager at Bovada.