Yesterday, news broke that Jeopardy! would install its current showrunner, Mike Richards, as the long-running game show's first permanent host following the death of TV icon Alex Trebek. The search for a new host has been on since beloved host Alex Trebek passed away last year at 80 years old. Trebek had hosted the series for more than 35 years, and along the way, the internet decided that Star Trek: The Next Generation star and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton deserved the gig. Burton seemed to like the idea, and lobbied fairly hard for it. Today, Burton took to social media to make sure everyone knew he was fine.
In the tweet, he thanked his fans, friends, and everyone who has shown support in the last few weeks. He reiterated a message he had been putting out there, not to get negative if the outcome isn't what you hoped for.
"I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I've won," Burton tweeted. "The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure. "
Per Richardson's official bio on the Jeopardy! website, he joined Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune in 2020 after more than a decade producing The Price is Right and Let's Make a Deal.
"Richards explained to me, in one of our first conversations, that if they had announced a permanent host closer to when Alex passed, that host would have been doomed to fail," Burton said in a recent interview.
In an interview of his own, Richards characterized the lineup of guest hosts as part of a 'grieving process" for fans who had spent decades watching Trebek. He added that they were hoping for a show who could have a very long run, noting that producers were not looking for somebody to take a 3-year contract and go back to their real job, but for somebody who could dedicate decades to Jeopardy!.
"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," he told Broadcasting + Cable.
Richard began his show business career a stand-up comedian, which led to offers to serve as a host for multiple pilots and shows, including The WB's High School Reunion and The CW's Beauty and the Geek.During that time, he also hosted a movie news show called Dailies on the Reelz channel.0comments
Since the passing of Trebek, Jeopardy! has struggled with how to replace an irreplaceable host, which included a rotating cast of guest hosts, including Richards and Burton. While not the first-ever host of the series, Trebek certainly became synonymous with it, bringing it to heights never imagined by previous hosts. The love of the public was even more evident after his cancer diagnosis, and when he passed away, fans were devastated.
This week, CNBC's David Faber is guest-hosting, and next week will be Fox Sports personality Joe Buck. It's likely that Sony Pictures Television will not announce a new host officially until that is over, since doing so might undermine that excitement of the celebrity guests.