‘Jeopardy!’ producers reveal advice they gave host Mayim Bialik amid fan backlash

While Ken Jennings has attracted a large fanbase since taking over hosting Jeopardy!, his co-host Mayim Bialik has had a difficult time winning over the loyal fans.

In one of the latest episodes of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss revealed the advice she gave the actress at the start of her hosting duties.

“That, as impressive as it is, just say ‘Yes, correct, you got it.'”

Almost from the beginning, fans became distracted by Bialik’s hosting style.

Many complained she took too long to respond to a contestant’s response, especially when they answered correctly.

During a Jeopardy! Q&A session Bialik admitted she enjoyed watching the contestants play the game, but had to constantly remind herself of her role in the game.

“I did not expect to enjoy watching while I’m up there as much as I do, and it’s hard not to get honestly starstruck by the contestants up here,” she said.

“And I have to remember that I can’t be exceptionally surprised when they get things right… which I used to be,” Bialik continued. “I used to be: ‘Wow, yes, you got it!’ So I try to be more chill about it.’”

After Foss played the clip, she shared what went on behind the scenes to rectify Bialik’s sense of wonder.

“So it was something we talked about in the beginning. That, as impressive as it is, just say ‘Yes, correct, you got it,’” Foss said. “Because they are amazing, and you are going to be continually impressed by their knowledge.”

This wasn’t the only thing producers asked Bialik to change.

The Big Bang Theory alum was told she needed to change the way she walked out to open the show because her current gesture was “inauthentic.”

Bialik would walk out on to the set, look out into the audience, and then thanked Johnny Gilbert, 94, before turning to the camera. Meanwhile, Ken Jennings turned to the camera while thanking Gilbert.

The problem was Gilbert works from home. He is not seated in the audience.

“I think on a show about fact, it wasn’t right that we were looking over to an imaginary Johnny,” executive producer Mike Davies said.

“Instead, you know, we thank him, because we should thank him in the beginning of the episode, but we thank him right down the camera, right down the lens because we know he watches every single episode.”

If you enjoyed this piece, don’t miss out on this story when all three contestants guessed the correct response, but lost because of a mispronunciation.


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