Rather than TV icon Levar Burton or Jeopardy! super-champ Ken Jennings, it appears as though Mike Richards, who serves as an executive producer on Jeopardy!, may be the one to become the series' new, permanent host. Richards, who previously hosted Divided and Pyramid (the latter an update of the long-running series The $25,000 Pyramid) is reportedly in "advanced negotiations to take over the quiz show, according to a new report at Variety. 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.
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. He has earned three Daytime Emmy awards and been nominated 17 times.
Throughout his career, Richards has produced a wide range of programs, including talk shows, dating shows, celebrity shows, reality shows, clips' shows, game shows and cable news. Early on, Richards worked for television legend Dick Clark as his vice president of development and current programs. During his time with Clark, he produced several awards shows and prime-time shows and was a correspondent on The American Music Awards and Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve.
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.
Since the passing of Trebek, Jeopardy! has struggled with how to replace the TV icon. 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. Some already had readily-chosen replacement ideas, while others argued Trebek was functionally impossible to replace. Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow star LeVar Burton had been campaigning pretty hard for the gig, egged on by thousands of fans online who got there even before he did.
"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.