Not only will Mike Richards not be the next host of “Jeopardy,” he also won’t be running the show, either.
Richards was fired Tuesday as executive producer of the popular quiz show by Sony, a little over a week since he stepped down as host amid massive blowback to his being picked to succeed Alex Trebek. Richards was pressured to give up hosting duties after controversial comments he said on an old podcast surfaced, word of past discrimination suits brought against him as well as questions over legitimacy of the host selection process.
Along with losing his producing job at “Jeopardy,” Richards is also out as EP of “Wheel of Fortune.”
Suzanne Prete, executive vice president overseeing both game shows, said in a statement that the distraction caused by Richards was damaging the show.
“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.”
Richards’ exit marks the end to a tumultuous transition period for the long-running syndicated game show, following the death of the beloved Trebek. Many in the television industry wondered why Sony continued to back Richards, even when it was becoming apparent that the controversy surrounding him was damaging the “Jeopardy” brand.
Breaking News: Mike Richards, who lasted one day of filming as host of "Jeopardy!," will exit the job of executive producer as well, Sony said. https://t.co/S9O3Vrrm26
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 31, 2021
Michael Davies, the executive producer of the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” game show, will serve as interim executive producer for “Jeopardy” while a search for a new boss goes on.
The five episodes Richards taped on his one and only day as official host of the show were scheduled to kick off the new “Jeopardy” season on Sept. 13. No word yet if those episodes will still air.