LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Mike Richards, who earlier this month was named the new host of “Jeopardy!” before stepping down from the post just weeks later over controversy regarding past comments and behavior, is no longer with the iconic show.
In a letter obtained by BuzzFeed Tuesday, Sony executive vice president Suzanne Prete told staffers that the 46-year-old Richards had been fired from his role as executive producer of “Jeopardy!”
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at ‘Jeopardy!’ it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks,” Prete wrote. “That clearly has not happened.”
Prete confirmed that television gameshow veteran Michael Davies, who produced “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” will take over EP duties on an interim basis.
On Aug. 11, Sony Pictures Television announced that Richards would begin the 38th season of the show as the full-time host, while “The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik would host the show’s prime time and spinoff series.
However, less than two weeks later, Richards announced he was stepping down.
The comments that sank Richards came on podcasts in 2013 and 2104. According to The Ringer, Richards made disparaging remarks about women, little people, the mentally disabled and Jews during episodes of the “The Randumb Show.”
In addition, discrimination lawsuits filed by women who worked on “The Price is Right” — where Richards was executive producer from 2008 to 2018 — had recently resurfaced. Richards came on as executive producer of Jeopardy! in 2019.
Longtime host Alex Trebek passed away last November after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. Trebek had been the face of “Jeopardy!” for 35 years and more than 18,000 episodes.
Since his passing, the show has tested several guest hosts, including the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Anderson Cooper, Savannah Guthrie, Sanjay Gupta, LeVar Burton, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Joe Buck, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Buzzy Cohen and David Faber.
Bialik will host for the foreseeable future while the search for a new permanent host continues.