[Source: CNN Entertainment]
Ken Jennings is opening up about the departure of Mayim Bialik as co-host of the long-running game show “Jeopardy!”
“It took me off guard, because I loved working with my Mayim and I’m gonna miss her,” Jennings said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Monday.
“I can’t speak to her decision-making process or her opinions about it,” he added.
In a statement posted to Bialik’s Instagram page earlier this month, the actor and author wrote that Sony, which produces the show, informed her that she will no longer host 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,” she wrote, adding her thanks to viewers and the show’s staff for “this incredible journey.”
A Sony spokesperson told CNN in a statement at the time that Jennings will serve as “the sole host” for the quiz show, attributing the decision to a desire to “maintain continuity for our viewers.”
“We are truly grateful for all of Mayim’s contributions to Jeopardy!, and we hope to continue to work with her on primetime specials,” the statement concluded.
Bialik and Jennings, a former “Jeopardy!” contestant, initially started co-hosting the show in 2021 on a temporary basis following the 2020 death of longtime host Alex Trebek. Producers in July 2022 announced the duo would be the show’s permanent hosts.
Jennings, who served as a fill-in host before landing the gig permanently, told THR that he feels “extremely lucky to have even been considered for this job as a non-broadcaster.”