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Mayim Bialik to interim host ‘Jeopardy!’ following Mike Richards’ exit

Mayam Bialik will serve as interim host of “Jeopardy” following the abrupt resignation of Mike Richards, a Sony Pictures Television spokesperson confirmed to NBC News.

Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” who was tapped to succeed Alex Trebek, announced Friday he is stepping aside as host. The news came after The Ringer reported Richards made disparaging comments about women, Jews, poor people and Haiti seven years ago, while he was co-executive producer of “The Price Is Right” and hosting a podcast called “The Randumb Show.”

Both Richards and Bialik were among more than a dozen people — including former top contestants and celebrities — who served as interim guest hosts for Season 37 of the show after Trebek’s passing.

Bialik, 45, was already slated to host primetime specials and spin-offs of the popular game show. “The Big Bang Theory” star also earned bachelor and doctorate degrees from UCLA in neuroscience.

“She is currently scheduled to tape three weeks of episodes (15 episodes) when production resumes this week,” the Sony spokesperson said. “As we move forward with production on this season of ‘Jeopardy!,’ additional guest hosts will be announced.”

In his statement last week, Richards apologized. Sony said it supported Richards’ decision to step down.

CNN first reported the news that Bialik will be the first guest host of the quiz show.

Daniel Arkin contributed.

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