‘Jeopardy!’ Returns with Ousted Mike Richards As Host: Fans React

Mike Richards Jeopardy!

The tumultuous Jeopardy! saga continued on Monday, September 13, as the publicly disgraced Mike Richards served as host for the show’s 38th season premiere episode.

Richards was announced as the long-running game show’s new permanent host in early August following a months-long search for the late Alex Trebek‘s replacement. However, scandal surrounding Richards’ past quickly made headlines, including accusations of workplace discrimination and insensitive comments made on a 2013 podcast.

Just weeks later, Richards was removed as host but was scheduled to continue in his executive producer role — however, he later stepped down from this position following continued backlash.

Richards had already pre-filmed five episodes of the new season before his departure. And, as there is no way to re-shoot a game show that involves monetary prizes, these episodes are currently airing for the next week. The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, who will present spin-offs and specials, is then set to step in for the next three weeks worth of episodes.

Jeopardy! fans were not particularly excited about watching a week’s worth of Richards hosting their favorite show and let their displeasure be known on social media.

“Hate-watching the premiere of #MikeRichards as the new host of #jeopardy. Is it just me or does Johnny Gilbert sound very underwhelmed introducing him?” wrote one viewer.

“Awkward seeing Mike Richards coming out to host #Jeopardy. No crawl or disclaimer,” another fan stated. “Thought there could be creative editing to work around eps he did. Take a deep breath, he’s only there a week.”

While Richards’ presence left a bad taste for many, the premiere did include a sweet tribute to Trebek. Before the show began, it was revealed that Trebek’s widow and children were in the studio to reveal the newly christened Alex Trebek Stage in tribute to the beloved host.

Meanwhile, reigning Jeopardy! champion Matt Amodio continued his winning ways, cementing his 19th win in a row, which puts him in tied fourth place for consecutive games won. His total winnings now stand at $642,601, behind only Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer.

Check out more reaction to Richards’ first night as host below.

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