‘Jeopardy!’ Ex-Host Mike Richards Could Land Major Payday for Firing: Here’s How Much

by Madison Miller

If you’ve been keeping up with all the drama of “Jeopardy,” you know that Mike Richards went from having a dream job to no job at all.

He was named the brand new host of the popular trivia show as the successor to the beloved longtime host that passed away, Alex Trebek.

Mike Richards Lawyers and Possible Payout

Richards only had the job for nine days before he stepped down. He left his job as host due to a long history of harassment and discrimination that came to light. Shortly after that, Richards was fired as the executive producer for “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

Sony Entertainment thought it was best to let Richards go given the controversy and behavior on set.

“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,” Executive Vice President of Business and Strategy said to the memo to staff, according to Variety.

Now after the termination, Richards is getting ready for a legal battle against Sony Pictures Television. According to a newsletter from Matthew Beloni, a former editor at The Hollywood Reporter, Richards has infamous attorney Bryan Freedman working on his case.

“Jeopardy!” was once a drama-free show full of trivia and contestants happily earning cash, but now legal battles, fired hosts, and public controversy is all common.

The entire legal battle is early in the process. Freedman is saying that Sony mishandled “the situation so badly his client went from three jobs to zero.” There are several solutions to the entire situation, given the fact that Richards will have extreme difficulty finding future work given the public controversy.

Freedman said that a payday of eight figures could be on the table. Richards racked in a lot of money as an EP. In addition to the hosting gig worth $3 million, Richards would possibly be getting a lot of money from Sony in a financially-geared agreement.

Other Potential Options for Ex-Host of ‘Jeopardy!’

Another option is to make him a consultant for the network. He would help create new shows and it would possibly prevent a complete fallout on both ends. The last option at play would be to completely cut Richards off and not provide him with anything. Given the fact that he was fired, this really seems like the biggest option as of now.

The chatter surrounding Mike Richards was too loud for Sony executives Tony Vinciquerra and Ravi Ahuja not to let him go. Past comments from a 2013 and 2014 podcast had extremely offensive language, which, combined with other past lawsuits and drama, made him a problematic person for any jobs with “Jeopardy!” they decided.

Mike Richards had only been with the show as an EP for two years. He helped guide the show during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Michael Davies, the EP of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” is temporarily taking over production duties.