On Wednesday, news broke that Jeopardy! is seriously considering hiring the game show’s executive producer Mike Richards as its next permanent host. Following the reports though, recent guest host LeVar Burton‘s fans took to Twitter in swarms to voice their displeasure over the possible hire.
The show’s executive producer just joined Jeopardy! last year. Additionally, he had his own turn as a guest host on the game show earlier this season. Variety reported on the matter earlier today saying that production company Sony Pictures Entertainment liked Richards for his “easy on-air manner.” However, the outlet made sure to clarify that Richards is not the full-time host just yet. Instead, he is the show’s front-runner as of now.
Variety did stress that this does not mean that Richards is officially the permanent host just yet. But the damage had already been done. Once news got out that Richards is the front-runner, Burton’s fans took to Twitter in droves.
“Jeopardy you had your host with LeVar Burton,” a Jeopardy! fan wrote on Twitter. “LeVar is the epitome of knowledge and learning. Isn’t that what Jeopardy is all about. Mike Richards is not in the league with LeVar. It’s LeVar or no Jeopardy for me.”
“Levar Burton and Mayim Bialik were the obvious choices to take over hosting #Jeopardy. Not [checks notes] @Jeopardy’s executive producer (?!) Mike Richards. Sigh,” a Twitter user wrote.
So yea, you could say Jeopardy! fans who were rooting for LeVar Burton aren’t too pleased about the recent announcement.
‘Jeopardy!’ Producer Mike Richards Reportedly in Negotiations To Become Full-Time Host
Ever since legendary host Alex Trebek passed away in November 2020, Jeopardy! has used a long list of celebrity interims. This served two purposes for the game show. The show could continue on and the guest-hosting spots could double as a tryout for those interested in the position.
Earlier today, reports claimed that Mike Richards is currently in “advanced negotiations” to become the next permanent host. According to Variety, a Sony Pictures Entertainment source said that nothing is finalized just yet. Other candidates are still viable options, but Richards seems to be the favored choice so far.
Many have pointed out that it’s a surprising decision if they move forward with Richards’ hire. Mainly because the executive producer is so close to the hiring process himself. Yet maybe fans shouldn’t be as surprised as they are over the possible Jeopardy! hire. During a May interview with USA Today, Richards admitted he’d consider taking the position himself.
“I would definitely consider it if Sony made that decision and wanted me to do it. It would be amazing. But my job (as executive producer) is to make sure that every guest that walks in that door does the greatest job they can,” Richards said to USA Today.