Co-hosts Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings to talk about the next era of the game.
In their first joint interview since "Jeopardy!" announced who will fill the shoes of the late beloved host Alex Trebek, the two new hosts, Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings, sit down together to talk about the next era for the long-running game show.
"We miss Alex every day. But luckily, it still feels like 'Jeopardy!'" Jennings said. "The people here are so good at their jobs. They kept the continuity."
In July, the show's executive producer, Michael Davies, announced that Bialik and Jennings will become the show's official co-hosts permanently. Both were among a string of guest hosts who filled in temporarily after Trebek died of cancer in 2020.
Bialik and Jennings said the transition from guest host to co-host was somewhat seamless.
"It doesn't really feel different," Bialik said.
"We got to take photos together. That was fun," Jennings added.
Bialik is a four-time Emmy-nominated actress who is best known for her television sitcom roles in "Blossom" and "The Big Bang Theory." Jennings, once a "Jeopardy!" contestant himself, holds the record for the longest winning streak on the game show with 74 consecutive wins.
Bialik and Jennings joked that they both have a shared past as "80s sitcom stars."
Jennings said that because he had played so many games, he thought he would have a "pretty good sense" of what hosting would be like, but said he was quickly proven wrong.
"You realize hosting's even harder because you basically have to do everything the contestants do, plus manage the game for them, plus manage the game for the home viewer," Jennings said.
"And not make faces," Bialik added.
Bialik and Jennings took ABC News on a behind-the-scenes tour of the set. They said they've been settling in, after a few bumps here and there.
"I once did an entire episode wearing my shoes on the wrong feet. It was the end of a very long day," Bialik said. "Apparently, I have a very high tolerance for pain."
The two also said they are ringing in the 39th season of the television mainstay by honoring the legendary Trebek, who had built a loyal fan base over the course of 37 seasons as host.
"I think for both of us, we feel like we're really ushering in what Alex facilitated so beautifully, which is, again, highlighting contestants and the show that people know and love," Bialik said. "I think for me and Ken, we do love the purity and the fun 'Jeopardy!' has been and will continue to be."
Although Bialik and Jennings agree that the charm Trebrek originally brought to the show is still there, the legendary host cannot be imitated. They said it's nice to have two hosts to help support each other.
"One of the nice things about having two hosts is the focus is a little less on who is the iconic host of 'Jeopardy!' And it's really more about 'Jeopardy!' as a game," Jennings said. "Some nights it's gonna be me. Some nights it's gonna be Mayim. But it's always 'Jeopardy!'"
Jennings said a highlight of the upcoming season is that there is a studio audience for the first time in more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"That first game of this season, I walked out and people just went bonkers and I just started to cry," he said "This game means so much to people. And there was just this visceral wave of love and energy. I'll be thinking about that for the rest of my life."