That other chaotic regime change has ended in a surrender, with Mike Richards announcing that he’s stepping down as Jeopardy!’s new host, less than two weeks after seemingly hiring himself for the game-show gig of a lifetime. Richards confirmed in a statement to Vulture that his removal will be effective immediately, and the show’s production schedule will be temporarily canceled as a result. “It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” he wrote. “As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and 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.” Sony Pictures Television, which produces Jeopardy!, will now resume its search for a permanent syndicated host, who will join Mayim Bialik for this new era.
In his statement, Richards said that Jeopardy! will be bringing back guest hosts when the new season — which began taping with him on August 19 — resumes production. “I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing,” Richards added. “I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”
Following Richards being anointed as Jeopardy!’s full-time, syndicated host on August 11, he has been met with intense public scrutiny about his dubious career as a game-show producer and podcaster. Richards was hired as a Jeopardy! executive producer in early 2020 — cue the requisite Dick Cheney comparisons — and prior to that was faced with two sexual-harassment and pregnancy discrimination lawsuits while working as a producer for The Price Is Right, in 2011 and 2010, respectively. However, an August 18 exposé published in the Ringer blew up Richards’s credibility even further: The article unearthed old The Randumb Show podcast episodes he hosted with a friend, where he repeatedly made sexist and disparaging remarks against women, Jews, Asians, and overweight people. At the time, Richards apologized to the Ringer for what he defined as a “terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity.”
Anyway, who has eyes on our perfect men, LeVar Burton and Ken Jennings?