Jeopardy! fan-favorite interim host LeVar Burton has weighed in on the reports that Mike Richards, is in the process of finalizing a deal to become the new permanent host. In a tweet, Burton commented on the news, saying that "no matter the outcome" he already feels that he's "won." Burton went on to express gratitude for the "outpouring of love and support" he has received from all of his fans. Concluding his message, Burton said the love he feels is the "ultimate blessing," and add that he feels "truly blessed beyond measure."
On Wednesday, it was reported that Richards, one of the show's executive producers, is in late-stage negotiations with the Jeopardy's producing studio — Sony Pictures Television — to become its new official host. Regarding his possible permanent hosting job at Jeopardy!, a Sony spokesperson stated that negotiations are ongoing and that there is more than one candidate being considered. A separate, anonymous source added, however, that while this is true, Richards appears to be the frontrunner.
I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I’ve won. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure. 🙏🏾— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) August 5, 2021
Following long-time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek's death in 2020, a number of interim hosts were brought in to help out. Richards was one of the early interim hosts, with Burton being added later, following a massive outcry from fans of both the actor and the show. Burton recently spoke about the prospect of being the new permanent host of Jeopardy!, telling the New York Times that "it will hurt" if he doesn't get the job, but "will get over it" in time.
"I will be fine," Burton continued. "Remember: Everything happens perfectly and for a reason. That is my default. It's all going to be OK. Because it always is."
Richards' potential permanent position opportunity has come under some controversy in the past 24 hours, and not just because fans are upset that it may not be Burton. It has been reported that Richards was previously named in a sexual harassment lawsuit and discrimination lawsuit by two models from The Price is Right. Richards previously worked as an executive producer on the iconic game show and had been considered as its new host, following Bob Barker's exit, before Drew Carey was chosen instead.
According to the reports, Richards allegedly told a model that she would have been fired if she had not been able to keep her pregnancy a secret. He was also accused of favoring a model he was dating over another model who was part of the suit. At this time, neither Richards nor Sony appears to have commented on the new report.