’Jeopardy!’: Why Mike Richards Stepped Down as the Game Show’s Permanent Host

by John Jamison

Many are wondering why Mike Richards stepped into the role in the first place. He has been an executive producer on “Jeopardy!” for the past year or so. And if it wasn’t for his short guest-hosting stint, most fans wouldn’t know him at all. After only a single day of filming, he announced that he would be stepping back down to his previous role. But why?

Why go to all that trouble only to end up back at your previous position? Well, his stepping down as one of the permanent hosts wasn’t exactly a mutual decision. In fact, according to Vox, many have accused Richards of chasing down a position as the host of any game show.

Where guest-hosting favorites like Ken Jennings have had “Jeopardy!” near and dear to their hearts for years, Richards comes from “Beauty and the Geek” and was an executive producer on “The Price is Right.”

In the wake of The Ringer’s exposure of questionable comments made by Richards and sexism lawsuits against him, fans honed in on these other red flags.

If his unsavory behavior weren’t enough, Sony was faced with the backlash of “Jeopardy!” fans citing sheer unworthiness. Even without the potential of something even worse about him being uncovered, fan-favorite guest hosts like LeVar Burton are clearly more emotionally invested in what it means to host the show.

When it finally came time for Richards to issue an apology for his past mistakes, “Jeopardy!” fans were fed up with him. After all, being involved in the search for a permanent replacement and ending up in the position is a bad look. Regardless of whether or not that decision was yours. All of this conspired to ultimately force him out of the hosting position.

‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Want to See Sony Take it A Step Further

Mike Richards cited his presence in the permanent hosting role on “Jeopardy!” as too much of a distraction. If that’s the case, then many also believe his staying on in an executive producer capacity is just as distracting and unacceptable.

Andy Saunders, an authority on the subject of “Jeopardy!” as the person behind “The Jeopardy! Fan” website, talked to The New York Times about how he doesn’t see Richards ever getting back in the fans’ good graces.

“It feels like he doesn’t quite realize the gravity of his mistake and thinks that if he just stays behind the scenes, then everything will blow over,” Saunders said.

Plenty of average fans have chimed in, demanding that Richards also step down as executive producer.

“Mike Richards should also step down as Executive Producer, and certainly should not be involved in the search for a new host,” one Twitter user wrote.

Some don’t even feel that Mike Richards has done a good job in his year with “Jeopardy!”