Mike Richards's tenure as Jeopardy! host lasted mere days, and his stint as the show's executive producer didn't last much longer. Yahoo Entertainment can confirm that Richards will no longer oversee either the quiz show or Wheel of Fortune, which he had led since 2020.
Richards's departure is not at all unexpected. It was just this month that he was named the permanent host of Jeopardy! — which Alex Trebek led from 1984 to last year, when he died of pancreatic cancer — but Richards stepped away from that position on Aug. 20. This came after offensive comments that he'd made on a podcast emerged, on top of allegations of misconduct at his former employer, The Price Is Right. Still, there was no sign that Richards planned to leave the show altogether — at least not willingly.
Now, Michael Davies, who was the executive producer of Sony's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will take over "on an interim basis until further notice," according to a memo that Sony Vice President Suzanne Prete sent to staff Tuesday. "We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks," Prete wrote. "That clearly has not happened."
Mayim Bialik, who was selected to host primetime episodes of Jeopardy!, is taking over for Richards on weekday episodes while the show figures out a permanent solution.
After news of Richards's departure from Jeopardy! broke, one of the show's most successful contestants ever, James Holzhauer, celebrated with a meme captioned, "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead!" He also said, "Do I think Mike Richards's podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No. But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running Jeopardy? Also no."
Do I think Mike Richards’s podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No. But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running Jeopardy? Also no
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) August 31, 2021