Mike Richards Ousted as ‘Jeopardy!’ & ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Executive Producer
Mike Richards is making headlines…. again. Less than two weeks after stepping down as the host of Jeopardy!, Richards, also an executive producer on the trivia contest as well as the game show Wheel of Fortune, is leaving his behind-the-scenes roles, too.
After previously being named Jeopardy!‘s permanent host earlier this month, Richards became embroiled in controversy when past lawsuits and offensive comments he made on podcasts came to public light. And now, according to Deadline, he’s departing the game shows altogether, per Sony Pictures Television’s own statement.
In a memo to employees from Suzanne Prete, Sony Pictures Television’s EVP of Business and Strategy for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, revealed the reasoning behind Richards’ exit. “I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately,” Prete’s letter to staffers began, according to Deadline. “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.”
Richards was one of the many guest hosts who took over Jeopardy! in Season 37 following the death of Alex Trebek. Others who stepped behind the podium included Ken Jennings, Katie Couric, Dr. Mehmet Oz, footballer Aaron Rodgers, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Bill Whitaker, Savannah Guthrie, Buzzy Cohen, Mayim Bialik, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber, and Joe Buck. To fill the void left by Richards, Jeopardy! is appointing more guest hosts and looking to utilize Bialik, who was previously announced as host of the show’s primetime installments and the helmer of the Jeopardy! National College Championship.
“Michael Davies from Embassy Row has agreed to help with production on an interim basis until further notice,” Prete added in her note. “Michael and I will work together with all of you in the weeks ahead to ensure that production remains on schedule and we do not miss a beat as we head into the new season.”
Stay tuned for updates and let us know what you think of Richards’ exit from the game shows in the comments section, below.
Jeopardy!, Weeknights, Check your local listings
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