Who Is Mike Richards, the Next Guest Host of ‘Jeopardy!’?

Mike Richards - 2016 Daytime Emmy Awards
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Answer: This Jeopardy! executive producer will take over as the quiz show’s guest host on February 22 now that Ken Jennings has left the lectern. Question: Who is Mike Richards?

It’s a question some might be asking, given Richards’ relatively low profile. But rest assured, the man stepping in for the late, great host Alex Trebek has more than a decade of game show experience — including other hosting gigs — before he even stepped into the role of Jeopardy! EP in 2020.

“I was very fortunate to have a front row seat to watch and study Alex,” Richards says in a statement on the Jeopardy! website. “Stepping in as a guest host … will forever be the honor of my life.”

Richards emcees the popular game show through March 5, after which journalist Katie Couric, TV doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, TODAY co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, CNN host Anderson Cooper, Call Me Kat star Mayim Bialik, 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker, and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will take their turns on the Jeopardy! stage.

Ahead of Richards’ Jeopardy! hosting debut, learn more about the award-winning producer below.

This Isn’t His First Rodeo

These days, Richards is known more for his work behind the scenes, but he has played hosted on numerous TV show, including the WB reality shows High School Reunion and Beauty and the Geek, the Reelz movie news program Dailies, and the GSN game shows The Pyramid and Divided. Incidentally, he also has an acting credit to his name: two episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful.

He Has 3  Emmys & 17 Emmy Noms

According to his Jeopardy! bio, Richards started as co-executive producer on The Price Is Right in 2008 and became the show’s executive producer in 2009, when he also helped bring the revival of Let’s Make a Deal to CBS. Between those two shows, Richards earned 17 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and three wins after The Price Is Right won Outstanding Game Show in 2013, 2016, and 2018, the bio adds.

By the time Richards left his post on the two shows in 2019 — after signing a multi-year overall deal at Sony Pictures Television, as Variety reported at the time — he had produced more than 4,000 hours of game show programming.

He’s Behind the Millionaire Revival

Jeopardy! isn’t Richards’ first trivial pursuit, so to speak. In 2020, he was one of three executive producers who brought the celebrity-driven Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to ABC’s primetime lineup. It was part of an overall deal, according to his bio, with Sony Pictures Television to develop and produce game shows for the network, cable, and streaming platforms.

He Joined Jeopardy! in 2020

After Harry Friedman stepped down as the executive producer of Jeopardy! in 2020, after more than two decades on the show, Richards stepped in to take his place.

In fact, it was Richards who delivered an on-air eulogy for Trebek on November 9, a day after the host’s death. “He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness, and for his love of his family,” Richards said, standing in front of an empty stage. “On behalf of everyone here at Jeopardy!, thank you for everything, Alex.”

Multitasking Is Just Part of His Job

Not only did Richards take over for Friedman as the executive producer of Jeopardy!, he also succeeded Friedman in the same role on Wheel of Fortune. “Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are the gold standard of television — exceptional, timeless formats produced by amazing teams,” Richards said in a statement at the time. “Alex Trebek, Vanna White, and Pat Sajak are incredible hosts, and I can’t wait to work side by side with them on these world-class franchises.”

Jokes Might Be Part of His Shtick

Richards landed his hosting gigs thanks to his time as a stand-up comedian after college. Will he get some laughs? Stay tuned to find out.

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