Mike Richards is out as executive producer of ‘Jeopardy!’
Mike Richards, who earlier this month stepped down as the new host of “Jeopardy!” after a backlash over past offensive comments, will no longer serve as executive producer of the long-running quiz show, Sony Pictures Television said on Tuesday.
Richards also has given up producing duties at game show “Wheel of Fortune,” Sony Executive Vice President Suzanne Prete said in a memo released by the company.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks,” Prete said. “That clearly has not happened.”
Richards had been appointed to replace legendary host Alex Trebek, who died in 2020 after more than three decades on the show. He stepped down from that role after online publication The Ringer reported on disparaging and sexist comments he made on a podcast. Richards apologized at the time for the negative attention brought to Jeopardy!.
JUST IN: Mike Richards out as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune EP, per note to staff from Suzanne Prete, Sony EVP, Business and Strategy pic.twitter.com/FsTp2dW7IY
— David Mack (@davidmackau) August 31, 2021
Michael Davies, executive producer of game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, has stepped in as interim producer of “Jeopardy!,” Prete said in her memo.
“The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik is serving as guest host of daily “Jeopardy!” while Sony searches for a permanent replacement. She also was tapped to host Jeopardy! special events including its college tournament.
Richards and Bialik were two of the guests hosts for “Jeopardy!” as the show sought a permanent for replacement long-time host Alex Trebek after his death due to pancreatic cancer in November 2020.
Others included LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie, Aaron Rodgers, and Ken Jennings. Richards’ selection as host was met with backlash from fans of the show, who believed that he had used his position as executive producer to influence the process in his favor.
At the time of his exit, Richards had already taped multiple episodes, which will air as scheduled to maintain continuity with the contestants who won on those episodestv show
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Bill Berkrot)