Will ‘Jeopardy!’ Still Air New Season on Original Date After Mike Richards Steps Down?

by Katie Maloney

As all you “Jeopardy!” fans already know, the last few months were filled with unknowns as the show searched for its next permanent host.

Yes, watching celebrities host our favorite show was fun. But we also craved some permanency and answers. And it seemed like all of that was coming to fruition earlier this week when “Jeopardy!” announced executive producer Mike Richards as its new permanent host. However, all of that is once again up in the air now that Richards has just announced that he’s stepping down from his hosting duties.

Richards issued a statement today in wake of the news.

“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” said Richards.

“As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role,” he continued. “However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.”

Will The New Season Of ‘Jeopardy!’ Still Air Now That Mike Richards Is Leaving?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Richards’ episodes as host were set to officially start airing on September 13. But will this still be the case now that he’s parting ways with “Jeopardy!”? We know that all “Jeopardy!” episodes are filmed in advance so, it’s possible that some of the initial episodes were already filmed with Richards as host. Will those episodes still air? Or would that look bad for ‘Jeopardy!”?

Perhaps the show will opt to scrap all previously filmed episodes for this season and restart once a new permanent host is appointed.

The short answer to all these questions is: we don’t know. The news of Mike Richards’ departure from “Jeopardy!” is so fresh that no additional information has been provided yet.

How Did All Of This Controversy Start?

Mike Richards took over as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” after Alex Trebek passed away last year. During the same time, the show began its search for a new permanent host. After one of the hosts had to drop out due to COVID-19, Richards stepped in to fill the role as a guest host. This seemed like a courageous move on Richards’ part – taking one for the team when the show needed a last-minute host. However, things started to get weird when news came out that Richards was in the running for the permanent host position.

Both fans and the show’s network were a little concerned as Richards’ candidacy for “Jeopardy!” host seemed like a conflict of interest. After all, he was directly involved with the ongoings of all the show’s guest hosts. The Ringer recently reported that Richards even coached each of the guest hosts before their appearances on “Jeopardy!”

That combined with the recent controversy surrounding Richards’ past lawsuits and disparaging comments, has moved “Jeopardy!” to withdraw Mike Richards from the hosting position.