Some guy who isn’t LeVar Burton is in advanced negotiations to become the permanent host of Jeopardy! The guy in question, according to Variety, is Mike Richards. Richards is already an executive producer on the show, and has hosted other reality and game shows before this. One of his first hosting gigs was on the CW’s Beauty and the Geek, so we know he’s got the nerd bona fides. Richards has also hosted Divided and The Pyramid for GSN. A Sony Pictures spokesman told the trade mag that discussions are still going with several candidates, and that no final decisions have been made. After Alex Trebek’s final episodes aired in January of 2021, a slew of replacement hosts have stood behind the podium. They include Burton, Jeopardy! vets Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, Mayim Bialik, and Celebrity Jeopardy! winner/Disney adult/footballer Aaron Rodgers.
Update, August 5: Well, those holding out hope that advanced negotiations meant “there’s still time for Jeopardy! to get its damn act together” will be disappointed by this new report from CNN: Mike Richards is “effectively a done deal” as the show’s new host. Sources told CNN that Richards is expected to start his hosting tenure in September, when the new season begins; he will be formally announced later this month by production studio Sony Pictures Television. Interestingly, CNN pointed to an interview that Richards himself gave to B+C/Multichannel News back in May, where he explained how Jeopardy! was approaching its host-search process. “We aren’t looking for a three-year host, we’re looking for a ten-year or a 20-year host,” he explained. “Stability is one of the show’s strengths, so we need to consider who’s got a 20-year horizon and who can focus on the show and make it great over that time.” Cool that Richards has all that faith in himself!