Social Media Divided Over 'Jeopardy!' Producer Mike Richards Becoming Show's Permanent Host

Thursday August 5, 2021

Mike Richards
Mike Richards  (Source:Sony Television)

With all the celebrity hosts taking over "Jeopardy!" in the past few months, it looks like the least-known may take over the show's permanent hosting duties. In an exclusive report, Variety writes that the game show's executive producer Mike Richards is "in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to become permanent host of the venerable quiz show, taking the reins of the syndicated powerhouse that was fronted by Alex Trebek for 36 years."

Richards takes the lead in getting the coveted gig over "Jeopardy!" champion Ken Jennings, who was said to be the front-runner to succeed Trebek, who died late last year after a battle with cancer. Other celebs vying for the position have been Mayim Bialik, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Dr. Mehmet Oz, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Aaron Rodgers and former contestant Buzzy Cohen.

"Jennings holds the record for the most consecutive 'Jeopardy!' wins with his 74-game streak from 2004. He also ranks as the show's highest-grossing winner with $2.52 million in regular-play winnings (which doesn't include later tournaments)," adds Variety.

But this wasn't Richards first hosting gig. Previously he hosted the series "Divided" and "The Pyramid" for Sony Pictures' GSN cabler. He also previously hosted the reality shows "High School Reunion" on The WB network and "Beauty and the Geek" for The CW.

But his hosting gigs ran concurrent with his producing career.

"He joined 'The Price Is Right' in 2008 as a co-executive producer. The following year he became executive producer and also helped sell the revival of 'Let's Make a Deal' to CBS, which he also executive produced. By the time he took the reins of 'Jeopardy,' Richards had produced more than 4,000 hours of game shows," writes Variety. "Richards came to Sony as executive producer of the celebrity edition of the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" specials for ABC."

Little is known about Richards' personal life, however. He has a social media presence, but it largely is devoted to his professional life. In a deeper dive into his personal life, the website the wrote: "Mike Richards seems intent on keeping his dating life away from the public eye. Richards has been a public figure for nearly two decades, and he is yet to let us in on the details about his love life.

"Richards rarely participates in interviews, and even when he does, he doesn't address his love life. Despite receiving numerous Emmy Award nominations, Mike appears on red carpets alone or with his colleagues," the site adds. "Therefore, there is little to report about Mike's love life. Mike's stance might change if he becomes the permanent host of 'Jeopardy!' Nothing is confirmed yet, but Mike has certainly won over fans."

When he appeared hosting in February, some on social media commented on his easy manner and good looks.

But when the news hit about his being hired, the mood on social media was decidedly negative.

He did, though, get some support: