‘Jeopardy!’ producer Richards named host; role for Bialik

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A new host has been chosen for the long-running "Jeopardy!" to fill the void left by the death of the beloved Alex Trebex. Executive producer Mike Richards will succeed Trebek as host on the daily syndicated quiz show.

Richards was chosen over a field of celebrity candidates from TV, sports and journalism. But after fan backlash to a selection process that turned messy in recent weeks, producer Sony split the pie by naming another guest host, actor Mayim Bialik, as emcee for “Jeopardy!” primetime and spinoff series, including a new college championship.

In another nod to “Jeopardy!” devotees, longtime champion Ken Jennings will return as a consulting producer. Trebek died last year.

Meanwhile, amid the ruckus over the new host of “Jeopardy!”, contestant Matt Amodio has methodically scooped up resounding victories and a place in the quiz show’s hall of fame.

The Yale University doctoral candidate in computer science had landed high on the list of all-time top “Jeopardy!” winners with more than $500,000 in prize money. Amodio won a number of games so decisively that they were runaways. He says his varied knowledge comes largely from being an avid reader. He takes an analytic approach to the quiz show, always replying “What is ….?” to all questions and making big bets only if they won’t affect his playing another day.