Mike Richards Quits As the New Host of ‘Jeopardy!’
Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for 37 seasons, from 1984 until his death in the fall of 2020. His replacement, Mike Richards, lasted nine days.
Just over a week since Richards was announced as Trebek’s permanent replacement, he has announced he will step down from the job as Jeopardy!’s full-time host. Since the news that Richards was Sony Pictures Television’s choice for the Jeopardy! gig, the host — who also serves as the show’s executive producer — has been hit a barrage of negative publicity, first over discrimination lawsuits that were filed against The Price Is Right while he was that show’s executive producer, and then over sexist comments he made as the host of a podcast in 2013 and 2014.
Richards apologized for the latter earlier this week, but now has decided to resign. In his letter to the staff of Jeopardy he wrote
I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. 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.
According to Variety, Richards taped his first episodes of Jeopardy! on August 19 — yesterday. Meaning he officially worked as the permanent host of Jeopardy! for a single day.
Richards also says that the search will “now resume” for a new permanent syndicated host. (Richards is keeping his job as the show’s executive producer.) Jeopardy! had announced that Mayim Bialik will host Jeopardy! primetime specials on ABC; that comment suggests that if she’s still in the running for Trebek’s gig, she hasn’t locked the job in yet. While the show looks for that new permanent host, the show will return to the use of guest hosts.
It’s a surprising twist in what’s become one of the messiest Hollywood dramas in recent years. You’ll find Richards’ full statement below: