All signs point to Mike Richards becoming the new permanent host of Jeopardy! after a season of celebrity guest hosts and the passing of Alex Trebek. Sources close to the production told Variety on Wednesday that Richards is already in negotiations to become the new permanent host of Jeopardy! starting next season. Some fans are just trying to catch up on who Richards is and how he beat out the competition.
Richards is a TV producer and on-air personality with a considerable resume in the game show industry. He joined Jeopardy! just last year as an executive producer, and he was one of the first people to be a guest host in 2021 after Trebek's tragic death in November. Sony Pictures executives were reportedly impressed by Richards and felt that he had an easy affinity for the show's format. They feel that he is a good fit for the quiz show and its very particular audience.
Richard turned 46 years old last month, and he is a native of Burbank, California. For those trying to decide how they know him outside of Jeopardy!, he has hosted other shows including Beauty and the Geek after Bryan McFayden stepped down, and the 2012 revival of The Pyramid. He also hosted Divided when it was revived in 2016, and that's the job he left to join Sony.
Much of Richards' work has been behind the camera as a producer or executive producer. He worked on Weakest Link, Let's Make a Deal and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He has also been executive producing Wheel of Fortune alongside Jeopardy! Richards was reportedly in the running to host The Price is Right before Drew Carey ultimately accepted the job.
Still, Jeopardy! fans likely know Richards best for the time he filled in as Jeopardy! host early on this year, in the first batch of episodes after Trebek's passing. He and former champion Ken Jennings carried the show until the parade of celebrity guests could be arranged, and reports up until now have said that all of the guests might be considered as permanent hosts. An official statement from Sony published by Variety said that that is still the case.
Many fans are still hoping for a different result. Everyone on social media has their personal favorite pick for the new Jeopardy! host, but Richards seems to be low on the list in most cases. Fans are extremely enthusiastic about LeVar Burton, who ran the game just a few weeks ago. Many are also hoping to see Jennings take over.
For now, neither Richards nor anyone else has been officially signed on, but things are reportedly in motion. Jeopardy! airs on weeknights at 7 p.m. ET, check your local listing for the right network.