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Mayim Bialik explains why ‘Jeopardy!’ sometimes shuts down for 1 hour while filming

Sometimes, determining whether an answer is acceptable isn't so simple.
/ Source: TODAY

What is an hour?

“Jeopardy!” host Mayim Bialik says the game show can stop taping for 60 minutes when a clue correction occurs.

“We sometimes shut down for close to an hour over one decision,” she said last month on the “Wild Ride! with Steve-O” podcast. “So, you don’t see that. You just see the like, ‘Oh, they rule on this,’ but any episode where we correct someone’s score, like, ‘The judges have ruled that mahogany is also an acceptable tree that begins with an M,’ or whatever it is, usually means we’ve shut down for like an hour.”

Bialik, who said such decisions “can change the course of the game,” also said there’s an attorney on the set to make sure everything is run smoothly.

“There’s a lawyer on set all day, a lawyer from standards and practices," she said. "Imagine going to law school, and you get placed on ‘Jeopardy!’ They just sit and make sure that everything’s kosher.”

While corrections can and do happen, Bialik, who has been co-hosting the show with Ken Jennings this season, said a lot of scenarios are taken into account for the multiple ways a contestant can answer a clue before the round begins.

“So, for certain things, they’ll already list other acceptable answers, for things where a couple answers are acceptable, or they’ll make a note, if like, ‘Oh, if they say this, they need to be more specific,’ right?” she said. “So, I’m like learning those things. But sometimes, they’ll come up with something and I’m just like, ‘I don’t know.’ And so, yeah, I have a light that turns green if it’s a go and if turns red if it’s not.”

Like “Jeopardy!,” “Wheel of Fortune” has been entertaining viewers for decades and Bialik says the two shows have more in common than airing back-to-back in some cities.

“We share a crew,” she said. “They’re right across the street, so my Sony credentials on one side says ‘Jeopardy!’ On the other side it says ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ which is just kind of cool.”

Bialik is also awed by how amazing Pat Sajak, 75, and Vanna White, 65, look.

“They look like they haven’t aged,” she said. “I mean, I’m sure if you get close enough they look like they’ve aged, but they look unbelievable. I don’t know what happens on that stage, but I should hang out there more.”

Bialik, who has added her own wrinkle to the show by referring to the opening round as "Single Jeopardy," has been open about her interest in continuing to host "Jeopardy!" on a full-time basis.

"I would love that," she told "Entertainment Tonight" in March.

“My grandparents were immigrants to this country and escaped pogroms and World War II, so for me, in two generations, be in a position to be able to be a woman and a host in that iconic role blows my mind,” she added.