After months of having guests host Jeopardy, the production is nearing a deal to name Alex Trebek's permanent replacement. According to Variety, Mike Richards is in advanced negotiations to host Jeopardy permanently. Richards was one of the guest hosts of the program earlier this year and earned positive reviews from fans.
Variety reported that Richards, who joined Jeopardy in 2020 as an executive producer, is in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to host the quiz show as the permanent host. The publication reported that those at Sony Pictures were impressed with both Richards' ability to run the ship behind the scenes and his "easy on-air manner." When asked for comment, Sony Pictures shared that they were still in negotiations with other candidates for the position (the previous guest hosts Mayim Bialik and former Jeopardy champion Buzzy Cohen have also been strongly considered). They declined to comment on the possibility of Richards being named the permanent host of Jeopardy. While Richards is said to be the front-runner for the position, the outlet did caution that this deal isn't set in stone just yet and changes can still be made.
Before he joined Jeopardy, Richards worked on a slew of different programs. He previously worked as a producer on The Price is Right, Let's Make a Deal, and, most recently, the celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for ABC. In addition to his background in the producing field, he also has experience hosting. Richards has hosted Divided and The Pyramid for Sony Pictures' GSN cabler.
Over the past several months, Jeopardy has tapped an array of guest hosts to helm the quiz show. Those guest hosts include Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, LeVar Burton, and Savannah Guthrie. Viewers have been wondering who amongst these individuals would be named as Trebek's replacement. Trebek, who hosted Jeopardy for over three decades, passed away in November. The late host died at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. At the time, 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."