According to a recent report, the hit game show “Jeopardy!” is zeroing in on executive producer Mike Richards for the vacant hosting position.
If reports are indeed true, the selection of Richards for the “Jeopardy!” hosting gig comes as no surprise. Richards was the second person to get a crack at guest-hosting the show, after former contestant Ken Jennings. His two-week stint as the quiz show’s guest host went remarkably well and he emerged as a viable candidate.
While Jenning’s scored the highest Neilsen Rating at 6.1, Richards came in second at a 5.9 rating. He, Jennings, another former contestant, Buzzy Cohen and television personality LeVar Burton were among the fan favorites to take on the position. But the arrow has seemingly landed on Mike Richards and he is now, reportedly, deep in negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to man the “Jeopardy!” host’s lectern.
Mike Richards has won three Daytime Emmy Awards as the Executive Producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.” According to the website Exact Net Worth, Richards has a total net worth of around $6 million. Landing the job as “Jeopardy!” host would likely boost his annual salary above even that amount. Former host, the late Alex Trebek’s net worth was north of $70 million and his yearly salary was around $18 million. It is safe to say that Richards won’t be hurting for cash if he lands the highly coveted hosting position.
The “Jeopardy!” hosting job has been vacant since Trebek’s passing late last year. He died on November 8 after a lengthy battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. The television icon was 80-years-old at the time of his passing. Extremely dedicated to his craft and beloved game show, Trebek hosted “Jeopardy!” to the very end. He filmed his final episodes just days before his death. “Jeopardy!” fans are still mourning the loss of the legendary host.
Knowing that immediately replacing Trebek as host was an insurmountable task, “Jeopardy!” turn to the world of celebrities. They utilized rotating celebrity guest hosts until a permanent could be found. NFL star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, actor Mayim Bialik and a handful of others each took a turn behind the podium. A slew of journalists also got turns serving as the show’s guest host. That list includes the likes of Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie and Bill Whitaker among many others. Rodgers, Bialik and LeVar Burton campaigned the hardest to land the job.
But it appears that “Jeopardy!” has found their man and they didn’t have to go far to find him. If Mike Richards and “Jeopardy!” are ale to strike a deal, he could begin his hosting duties as soon as next month. Interestingly, Richards headed up the search for a new guest host for the show.