Mayim Bialik Will Take Over as Interim Jeopardy! Host After Mike Richards’s Departure Amid Controversy

Mayim Bialik has taken over as host of Jeopardy! after the previously announced host, Mike Richards, stepped down amid controversy.

Bialik, who was recently named as the host of the Jeopardy! primetime and spinoff programs will take over the platform this week in Richards’ absence, a Sony Pictures Television spokeswoman confirms to PEOPLE.

Sony revealed earlier this month that executive producer Richards, 46, had been chosen as the new permanent host, around nine months after veteran presenter Alex Trebek died.

Richards, however, informed workers on Friday in a note obtained by PEOPLE that he was resigning from the hosting role following the reemergence of footage of him making insulting remarks about women and other oppressed groups.

Richards’ controversy stems from a podcast he aired from 2013 to 2014 called The Randumb Show, which was shot as a behind-the-scenes look at his former show, The Price Is Right, according to an August 18 report published by The Ringer.

Along with making insulting statements about women, The Ringer stated that Richards used a harsh phrase for little people, a slur for persons with mental problems, and made disparaging comments about people’s economic situation during podcast chats.

He also remarked on the show about Jewish people having large noses, causing the Anti-Defamation League to demand an investigation into his actions.

He also apologized for previous statements in a statement to PEOPLE prior to the announcement of his departure, stating, in part, “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago.”

Although Richards is no longer the host of Jeopardy!, PEOPLE recently verified that the show would run episodes that he taped before his departure on Friday. On Thursday, five episodes were filmed and will show as scheduled. Richards will also continue as executive producer of Jeopardy!

The 38th season of Jeopardy! debuts on September 13.