'Jeopardy!' Executive Producer in "Advanced Negotiations" to Become Permanent Host

A new report cites a source claiming that Mike Richards is "clearly the front-runner"
'Jeopardy!' Executive Producer in 'Advanced Negotiations' to Become Permanent Host
Photo: Jeopardy!
Jeopardy! will wrap its slate of guest hosts this month, and it's now been reported that the frontrunner to succeed beloved late quizmaster Alex Trebek will be the show's own executive producer.

Variety reports that executive producer Mike Richards, who guest-hosted the show from February 22 to March 5, is in "advanced negotiations" to become the permanent host of Jeopardy!.

The outlet cites a source close to the situation who "cautioned that there's no certainty that the sides will close a deal and that other candidates remain in the mix," though "Richards is clearly the front-runner." A Sony Pictures spokesman said discussions were ongoing with several potential candidates, but would not comment on Richards' status. 

Variety notes that Richards, who joined the show as executive producer in 2020, "impressed Sony Pictures brass" during his guest hosting period "with his command of the fast-paced game and easy on-air manner."

Richards has previously hosted Divided, The Pyramid, and reality shows Beauty and the Geek and Highschool Reunion. In 2008, he joined The Price Is Right as co-executive producer, ahead of becoming executive producer of the Let's Make a Deal revival the following year. In 2019, Richards executive produced the celebrity edition specials of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for ABC.

Upon the report's circulation online, Jeopardy! viewers reacted with disappointment and disbelief that the show's own executive producer would land the role as permanent host over LeVar Burton, who guest-hosted the show late last month.

On Twitter today, Burton reiterated, "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."