Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards is reportedly nearing the end of talks with Sony Executive to replace Alex Trebek as host of the show. Luckily, we know what the show will look like with Richards as host because he’s already done it.
Richards guest-hosted the show from Feb. 22 through March 5. He was one of the first guest hosts in the shaky days that followed Alex Trebek’s death late last year. And fans generally liked his performance as a stand-in host. Well, mostly.
“Mike Richards should be the permanent host of Jeopardy. I like that he’s not already famous. He’s competent and inoffensive. You don’t think about him at all during the games. It’s perfect,” someone else tweeted.
But as word has leaked that Mike Richards may take the helm permanently, some people have reconsidered his time as host. Especially after fans had the chance to see 15 other hosts try their hand at running the Jeopardy! board. And all of them have their supporters.
“Ppl comment that (Richards) was great. You might not be wrong, but what we’re missing is inspiring. @levarburton is ridiculously inspiring and I think humanity needs that rather then a present executive producer,” someone else added.
LeVar Burton was a fan favorite to replace Trebek as Jeopardy! host. Or at least, he had the most vocal fans. And The Reading Rainbow host was happy to oblige them. He guest-hosted the show for a week last month to mixed reviews but big ratings.
Why Sony Likes Mike Richards as ‘Jeopardy!’ Host
According to Variety, who broke the story, Sony executives like Richards’ understanding of the game and his ability to keep things moving. Nearly every Jeopardy! guest host commented on how much faster-paced the game is when you’re on set compared to watching it at home.
Richards, who has produced more than 4,000 hours of television, joined Jeopardy! in 2020. He understands how the game works and has the smallest learning curve. Keeping a steady hand on the wheel is attractive to Sony, Variety pointed out, as they don’t want to disrupt what Trebek built over his 37 years as host.
Sony wouldn’t confirm or deny the reports, only saying that there are negotiations going on with several candidates. But the news outlet said it seemed Richard is the most likely permanent host.
Though, Variety added, executives thought actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik and former contestant Buzzy Cohen were the “standouts” as guest hosts. And both were considered for the full-time gig.