(NEW YORK) — Mayim Bialik is the first guest host for the syndicated version of “Jeopardy!” amid Mike Richards’ exit.
Sony Pictures Television confirmed the news to ABC News Monday, noting that she is currently scheduled to tape three weeks of episodes, totaling 15 episodes, when production resumes this week.
The production company also said additional guest hosts will be announced as production on the upcoming 38th season of the quiz show continues.
The “Big Bang Theory” alum, who was announced earlier this month as the new host for “Jeopardy!” primetime specials and spin-offs, with Richards tapped to host the syndicated version before he announced Friday he was stepping away “effective immediately” amid resurfaced controversial remarks.
Bialik guest hosted “Jeopardy!” earlier this year from May 31 to June 11.
Richards announced he was departing as host in an internal note to “Jeopardy!” staff.
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” Richards, who remains an executive producer of the program, began.
He added that he was “deeply honored” to be asked to serve as the permanent replacement for Alex Trebek, who died last November after a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer, but it had “become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment, who said in a statement to ABC News they were “surprised” to learn of Richards’ past comments, is looking for a new permanent host for the syndicated game show.
“I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing,” Richards concluded. “I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”
Richards came under fire last week after a report from The Ringer exposed past disparaging comments made about women on “The Randumb Show,” a podcast he hosted from 2013 to 2014, the recordings of which have since been deleted. Richards has apologized for the comments.
The report also brought to light a 2010 lawsuit in which a former model on “The Price Is Right,” during Richards’ tenure on that program, alleged her contract was not renewed after she gave birth. Of the discrimination case, which was settled out of court without any admitting of wrongdoing, Richards said the allegations “don’t reflect the reality of who I am.”
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