Ken Jennings Crosses the Picket Line to Keep ‘Jeopardy!’ Running
Even though Mayim Bialik reportedly chose to stand down from her Jeopardy! hosting duties in the show’s final week in deference to the Writers Guild of America strike, the show will apparently go on.
According to Deadline, Ken Jennings—the Jeopardy! legend with whom Bialik alternates hosting duties—will step up to the lectern “as a result of Bialik’s decision.” Representatives for Jennings did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Jeopardy! is a WGA show, Deadline reports, and some of its writers—including Michele Loud, Jim Rhine, and Billy Wisse—have reportedly joined the picket line. (Writers completed their duties ahead of the season and the strike, the trade publication notes.)
The WGA walkout began on May 2 and has already shut down multiple productions as writers fight for livable wages, protections against AI, and a sensible pay structure to fix what the streaming revolution broke. (Read: residuals.) In some cases, these production shutdowns have come as a direct result of support from non-writing workers including IATSE and the Teamsters, whose members have shown their solidarity by refusing to cross the WGA’s picket line on multiple series.
Some performers—like Drew Barrymore, who withdrew from hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards in deference to the strike—have likewise abstained from work that could help support “business as usual” in Hollywood and undermine the writers’ goals.
This cross-union solidarity is encouraging for the striking writers and also for other unions. (The Directors Guild of America [DGA] began its own negotiations on May 10, and the actors union SAG-AFTRA will follow later this summer.)
Jeopardy! producer Sony Pictures Television first announced Bialik and Jennings as Trebek’s permanent replacements last summer. Deadline reports that the last episodes of this season will film from May 16 through 19 on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City.
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