Executive producer to host to unemployed in just a few weeks.
The conclusion of the hunt for the new host of Jeopardy! has been quite a rollercoaster. After the lengthy test period with a variety of guest hosts, the show’s own executive producer, Mike Richards, awarded himself the position of host on the beloved game show. This sat poorly with viewers, more so as it came out that Richards had both made multiple off-color comments on an old podcast and had been the subject of multiple discrimination lawsuits filed by models on The Price is Right. Richards backed down from the hosting position last week due to the outcry, but it seems the damage has already been done.
Suzanne Prete, executive vice president of business and strategy for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! announced in a memo to staff that Richards had been fired from his position as executive producer of both shows. “I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately. We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened.”
Sony has fired Mike Richards as the executive producer of #Jeopardy and #WheelOfFortune. Michael Davies, the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” executive producer whose Embassy Row shingle is based at Sony, will take over production duties in the interim. https://t.co/obfAgsbrBx pic.twitter.com/Xe0z7JK71X
— Variety (@Variety) August 31, 2021
For the time being, Richards’ duties will be taken over by Michael Davies, executive producer of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, on loan from Embassy Row. As for the question of Jeopardy! hosting, Richards did have several episodes of his single-day stint as host filmed, which will be aired as planned. After that, Mayim Bialik, who was selected to host primetime episodes of the show, will host some regular episodes alongside a new stable of guest hosts.