Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards Will Reportedly Become Permanent Host After LeVar Burton Vied For The Gig

Mike Richards, Levar Burton

Jeopardy! Executive Producer Mike Richards Will Reportedly Become Permanent Host After LeVar Burton Vied For The Gig

While LeVar Burton’s push to become the new permanent host of Jeopardy! went viral and garnered support from countless fans, it looks like the gig is going to someone else.

As previously reported, Alex Trebek, the long-running host of the classic game show passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer last year. A new replacement has yet to be named, and guest hosts have been filling in in the meantime.

Alex Trebek

LeVar Burton filled in as a guest host for the final week of the 37th season last month after vying for the permanent hosting role for weeks.

But now, reports are alleging the job will go to the executive producer of the show, Mike Richards, who was also a guest host after Alex Trebek’s passing.

He is said to be in “advanced negotiations” with Sony Pictures, according to Variety. 

Still, a spokesman for Sony Pictures said they were speaking with several candidates, but would not confirm if Mike Richards was one of them.

He has previously hosted shows like “Divided” and “The Pyramid” for GSN, also under Sony Pictures. He has over 4,000 hours of game show production under his belt.

In June, LeVar Burton confessed he would be”hurt” if he didn’t get the spot. He told The New York Times:

“It will hurt. I’m not going to lie. But if that happens, I will get over it. I will be fine. Remember: Everything happens perfectly and for a reason. That is my default. It’s all going to be OK. Because it always is.”

He added,

“I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant.”

LeVar Burton

He ran down his credentials and said,

“Look, I have had a career for the [expletive] ages. RootsStar TrekReading Rainbow. Won a Grammy. Got a shelf full of Emmys. I’m a storyteller, and game shows are tremendous stories. There’s a contest, there’s comedy, there’s drama. If you don’t know your [expletive] on Jeopardy!, you’re sunk in full view of the entire nation. The stakes are high. I love that.”

Mike Richards also spoke on the possibility of LeVar Burton taking over and told NYT,

“LeVar and I’ve been speaking for a very long time. I think he was the first person to reach out to me after Alex passed away, so this is not a new conversation.”

“It came down to LeVar … speaking to his passion and really believing that he would be a great fit to be a guest host, and as we came down to the final group, we were excited to get it all to work together. This is not an easy process.”
While many of the guest hosts are in the running to fill the spot, Richards spoke on what the show is looking for moving forward.

“What we’re going to look for is the best candidate for the show. We’ve been very clear, and how we have approached the guest hosts is that we are going to not limit it to anyone based on anything.  We’re going to look for the best people. That would be the ‘Jeopardy!’ way.”

What are your thoughts on reports that Mike Richards is the new permanent host? Comment and let us know.

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