December 8, 2021

Mike Richards out as ‘Jeopardy!’, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ executive producer, Sony tells staffers

LOS ANGELES — Mike Richards is out as the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

Sony executive Suzanne Prete introduced Richards’ exit in a word to staffers Tuesday, writing, “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. That clearly has not happened.”

Michael Davies shall be moving into the function on an interim foundation, Prete mentioned, including that she, too, can be “more involved in the day-to-day on our shows moving forward.”

Richards had signed an general improvement cope with Sony in 2019, and have become executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” in Could 2020.

He shortly turned controversial when he went from behind-the-scenes to Sony’s choose to host the syndicated model of “Jeopardy!” – even before his 2013-14 podcast comments demeaning women and making stereotypical comments about Asian, Jews and others surfaced.

Anointing Richards as successor to the admired Alex Trebek was a questionable choice to some, especially after the studio had conducted a splashy search that included actors, sports figures, journalists – and Richards.

Questions were raised about whether Richards had put his finger on the scale in favor of himself, and whether he had the gravitas that was seen in other candidates, such as fan favorite LeVar Burton.

Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik is among the guest hosts who will appear in the new season of “Jeopardy!” in syndication this September. She had previously joined the franchise for an ongoing role as emcee for “Jeopardy!” prime-time and spinoff collection, together with a brand new faculty championship.

The Related Press contributed to this report.