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Mayim Bialik wants to host 'Jeopardy!' full-time: 'There's no other job I would rather have'

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Mayim Bialik is making it known: "Yes, I want to host 'Jeopardy!' full-time."

The "Big Bang Theory" star was originally enlisted in August to host just the show's primetime specials and tournaments, but Sony announced last week that Bialik and former "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings will fill in as hosts of the beloved game show for the remainder of the year after host and executive producer Mike Richards' exit.

Bialik has not publicly commented on Richards' departure, telling Glamour that she avoids the "drama" and doesn't "read the news," but the actress is now making it "very clear" that she wants the highly coveted hosting gig. "It is a dream job," she said.

"There's no other job I would rather have," Bialik, 45, said in a new interview published Tuesday. "I love my sitcom work, I do. I love all the other things I do. I love the podcast. But I absolutely have never had a better job."

USA TODAY reached out to Bialik and "Jeopardy!" for comment.

Mayim Bialik, Ken Jennings to fill in as 'Jeopardy!' hosts for rest of 2021

'Jeopardy!' premiere: Matt Amodio continues winning streak, as ousted Mike Richards hosts

Mayim Bialik during her two-week turn as "Jeopardy!" host.
Mayim Bialik during her two-week turn as "Jeopardy!" host.

Bialik, an Emmy-nominated actress who earned a degree in neuroscience from University of California, Los Angeles, said the hosting the game show requires her "to squeeze my brain."

"The use of my brain and my skill set feels best suited by this job on 'Jeopardy!'" she said. "I think it's a dream job for anyone, but especially for someone who is trained first as a performer and then as a science communicator."

The "Call Me Kat" star previously told USA TODAY that filling in as a guest host in May was "incredibly gratifying" and a huge accomplishment.

"Of all the things I've done, of all the acting I've done, of all the advocacy I've done, and all my academic things, this is the most globally understood, absolutely incredible thing to be part of," she said. "It's unbelievable."

She continued: "I don't really know how to explain (my experience of filming) other than to say it really felt like being home. It felt like these are my people… It just felt really, really natural, and it was terrific. I cried. I cried after my two days there. I didn’t want to leave."

'Jeopardy!' guest host Mayim Bialik on the 'dream job,' biggest challenge, Alex Trebek's legacy

For longtime "Jeopardy!" fans, the drama over the search to replace Alex Trebek, who died last year after a battle with pancreatic cancer, has cast a dark cloud over the quiz show. Even as contestant Matt Amodio in recent weeks became the show's winningest champion since James Holzhauer, news coverage has focused on Richards' ascendancy to the hosting job after two years as executive producer, and the past lawsuits, sexist remarks and controversies that hung over him.

In August, Richards was announced as the successor to Alex Trebek as "Jeopardy!" host. He resigned from his new role less than two weeks later amid controversy over past comments disparaging women, Jewish people and the homeless. Richards stayed on as the executive producer, but he was removed from that role late August.

Bialik declined to comment on the Richards scandal ("I think not commenting is the safest thing to do"), but she did describe working with Richards amid the turmoil.

"In (Richards') capacity as producer, I, of course, still had to work with him and speak with him and interact with him (when that report came out)," she told Glamour. "But that's because I'm a head-down kind of person, meaning I had to continue to work in the capacity that I did until he was no longer the person literally in my ear."

Mike Richards fired as 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' executive producer

Mike Richards was selected as the permanent syndicated host of "Jeopardy!," but stepped down after controversy.
Mike Richards was selected as the permanent syndicated host of "Jeopardy!," but stepped down after controversy.

Although "Jeopardy!" has been making the headlines daily with the hosting shakeup, Bialik said she doesn't "read the news" or "engage" in "the court of public opinion."

"I was basically relying on my 15-year-old… telling me what the internet said," she said. "In some cases, that's a detriment, because I don't always know what's going on. But I'm not checking Twitter on my way in to see who thinks should be on 'Jeopardy!' that day. I go to work, and I do my job."

She said her ultimate goal is to help "Jeopardy!" transition back to its reputation as "low-drama, no-drama form of entertainment." She added, "What I want is stability for the crew and for the staff and, as much as possible, for the viewers."

Bialik returned as guest host Monday, where she's behind the lectern through at least Oct. 8.

Contributing: Kelly Lawler, Hannah Yasharoff, Erin Jensen

What is a debacle? How the 'Jeopardy!' host search went wrong with Mike Richards, and what's next

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Jeopardy!': Mayim Bialik wants to be the game show's full-time host