Jeopardy fans received the update they've been waiting for on Wednesday regarding the permanent replacement for the late Alex Trebek. Variety reported that Mike Richards is in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television for the position. But, the publication also shed some light on who else is being strongly considered. The outlet reported that both Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik and former Jeopardy champion Buzzy Cohen are still in the running to become the permanent host.
According to Variety, Bialik and Cohen are two of the standouts who are also being considered to step into Trebek's shoes full time. While there have been many guest hosts of Jeopardy over the past several months, the publication made no mention of any other individuals who are being strongly considered. Additionally, even though Bialik and Cohen are still in the running, it seems like Jeopardy has nearly made a decision about who will be the permanent host.
Richards, who is an executive producer on the quiz show program, is in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to be the permanent host. It is said that those at Sony Pictures were impressed with Richards for two different reasons — his ability to handle his duties as an executive producer behind the scenes and the fact that he has an "easy on-air manner." The producer is indeed the frontrunner for the position, but this is not an official announcement just yet. Since they are still in the midst of negotiations, there's still a possibility that someone else could be named as the permanent host. Sony Pictures responded to Variety's request for comment by saying that there were others who were being considered for the position and that they were still involved in negotiations.
Whoever is tapped to fill the role does have big shoes to fill. Trebek, who hosted Jeopardy for over three decades, died in November at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Around the time that his death was reported, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra shared a statement about Trebek's death, which read, "For 37 amazing years, Alex was the comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world. He was the heart and soul of Jeopardy! and he will be deeply missed by everyone who made him part of their lives. Our hearts go out to Jean, Matthew, Emily and Nicky."