The “Jeopardy!” permanent hosting contest is over, and champion Mike Richards will host the syndicated show next month.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Richards hits the primetime on Sept. 13.
Richards will executive produce the show along with his hosting duties. “Jeopardy!” is in its 38th season, and its production schedule starts this month.
On Wednesday, show producer Sony Pictures Television named Richards and actress Mayim Bialik as two hosts in a different move. Richards will handle the nightly syndicated show duties while Bialik will work the specials, including the “Jeopardy! National College Championship” on ABC.
Bialik, who also stars in the Fox TV series “Call Me Kat,” will likely host a spinoff show at some point. In its second season, she also works as an executive producer on that show.
Former champion Ken Jennings also returns as a consulting producer. Richards came to Sony Pictures Television and “Jeopardy!” in 2019.
Fifteen guest hosts worked on the show over eight months with the dream of taking the late Alex Trebek’s job. They included fan-favorite LeVar Burton, former Jeopardy! champions David Faber, Buzzy Cohen, and Jennings. Also, Savannah Guthrie, Sanjay Gupta, Anderson Cooper, Bialik, Aaron Rodgers, Dr. Oz, Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and Joe Buck shared time in the competition.
Yahoo! News reported last week on fan reactions to Richards claiming frontrunner status. Claire McNear — author of the 2020 book “Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to ‘Jeopardy!’” — also weighed in on the matter.
“While he had his fans, he was not particularly well-liked by the more diehard Jeopardy! community,” McNear Tweeted.
‘Jeopardy!’ Host Richards Started At Other Game Shows
With notable stints at “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make A Deal,” Richards worked as the host for other Sony shows on the Game Show Network. He hosted “Divided” and “The Pyramid.” In a producer role, he worked with “High School Reunion” on the CW network and the WB Network’s “Beauty and the Geek.” He also worked with ABC’s “Weakest Link.”
Despite word of his involvement in past discriminations lawsuits on “The Price Is Right,” Richards landed the posh “Jeopardy!” gig this week. He sent out a memo to his staff earlier in the week.
“These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show,” Richards said. “I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right.”
The discriminations lawsuits involved show models, and they characterized Richards as a person not comfortable with the pregnancy of the models.
In the memo, the 46-year-old Richards stated the opposite. As a parent of two children, he talks about how important that job is. He further states that he “would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys.”