Mayim Bialik Fights to Win Over 'Jeopardy!' Critics as Viewers Lean Toward Co-Host Ken Jennings

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Source: abc;mega

Jul. 19 2023, Published 12:33 p.m. ET

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Mayim Bialik may have a long road ahead of her to win over Jeopardy! viewers.

Despite producers claiming she and co-host Ken Jennings are pulling in the same ratings on the popular game show, the harsh criticism being thrown her way online by die-hard fans has been hard to ignore, which is why she's trying harder than ever to charm them.

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Bialik's reported eagerness to take over the full-time job may be a hefty task since most fans have expressed favoritism for Jennings via social media. Additionally, the late Alex Trebek allegedly preferred the game show expert to take over his iconic role.

"Alex spoke very highly of him and he almost did everything he could to pass the baton to him, so there is this a real sense that Ken Jennings is Alex Trebek 2.0," claimed Robert Thompson, director at the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.

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The show business expert also noted that unfortunately, the industry has a history of choosing men over women in the hosting space due to reliable success rates. "Samantha Bee and Joan Rivers didn't last too long on late-night TV," Thompson explained. "Game show hosts still tend to be men, and you certainly read a lot of misogynistic comments about Mayim."

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According to executive producer Michael Davies, the show's current dynamic of having the Big Bang Theory star and the author switching off hosting duties is working out great.

"We read data from everywhere," he explained during an interview in May. "When Ken is hosting and Mayim is hosting, there's zero difference. It's exactly the same and that's the broadest part of the audience."

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As OK! previously reported, the Blossom star has been doing her best to get the behind-the-scenes crew on her side should they ever pick one permanent host.

"Mayim's kissing up to bosses and even the lowliest production assistants to win favor," the insider explained. "She has a compliment for everyone these days. She's also doing other things, like changing up her hairdo and adding brighter, peppier wardrobes."

Vulture spoke with Davis about the show's ratings.

Newsweek spoke with Thompson about Bialik and Jennings.


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