The search for new permanent host of Jeopardy! has come to an end. The show’s executive producer Mike Richards is finalizing a deal to succeed the late Alex Trebek as emcee of the venerable syndicated game show, I hear. No one would comment but I hear Richards, who emerged as a frontrunner early in the search, was quietly appointed as the host a couple of weeks ago with the deal now in final negotiations. Sony Pictures Television is expected to make an official announcement in the next few days.
Richards, who has hosting experience, was well received by fans when he served as a guest host earlier this year along with a slew of celebrities who filled in for the beloved Trebek. The show’s longtime host lost his battle with cancer in November.
“He was everything you could hope for and more,” Richards said of Trebek on the show. “He was an idol of mine, and I will work every day to try to live up to the example he set.”
Richards, whose pending deal for Jeopardy! was first reported by Variety, was named an executive producer of Jeopardy! in 2020 under a multi-year overall deal with SPT. He served as co-executive producer/executive producer of The Price Is Right for more than a decade.
It is his tenure on the CBS daytime show that has come under scrutiny as Richards emerged as the frontrunner for the Jeopardy! hosting job. He was implicated in multiple pregnancy discrimination claims by former models from the show, including a lawsuit by Brandi Cochran who was awarded $8.5 million in damages. After an appeal, the case was ultimately settled.
A three-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and 17-time nominee, Richards also served as executive producer of Let’s Make a Deal and has produced over 5,000 hours of game show programming. Richards is also known for his work in front of the camera, having hosted five series including Beauty and the Geek, Game Show Network’s 2016–17 version of Divided and the 2012 revival of The Pyramid.