Mike Richards Fired As ‘Jeopardy!’ Executive Producer
Let’s go with, “Fired Jeopardy! Hosts for 500, please.”
Sony has let go of Mike Richards as the executive producer of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, Variety reports. Michael Davies, executive producer of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will be taking over production duties until a replacement is chosen.
The news was announced by Suzanne Prete, the executive vice president, business and strategy of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! in a memo to staff members.
“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.”
Richards’ exit comes a little more than a week after he was forced to step down as Jeopardy! host, a little over a week after he was chosen to succeed the legendary Alex Trebek as the face of the quiz game show.
Richards gave up the job as host after “repeatedly used offensive language and disparaged women’s bodies.”
Richards’ departure statement read, “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. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”
Mayim Bialik, who is already slated to host Jeopardy!‘s primetime specials and spin-offs, has been chosen to serve as the guest host of the nightly show while the show searches for a new host.
The five episodes that Richards shot in his first and only day as Jeopardy! permanent host were scheduled to start off the new season on September 13. It is unclear if that will change now that he is also no longer an executive producer.
Richards took over as executive producer on both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! in 2020, after the exit of longtime executive producer Harry Friedman, who announced in August 2019 that he would be stepping down when his contract expired.