In a shocking move, Sony Pictures Television fired executive producer Mike Richards from the show Jeopardy. The decision comes as part of a larger shake-up that includes the departure of longtime host Alex Trebek.
Mike Richards is no longer a Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune executive producer. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images, Daytime Emmy Awards 2021)
Mike Richards, the executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, has been sacked by Sony, only days after he was forced to resign as host.
Richards had been chosen to replace the famous Alex Trebek as the next host of the famed quiz show, but his previous acts prompted the studio to reverse their choice.
In the meanwhile, Michael Davies, the producer behind the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire EP and whose Embassy Row business is located at Sony, will take over production responsibilities.
Mike, a Jeopardy! executive producer, was recruited to anchor the series earlier this month, alongside Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory, who will lead primetime and spin-off specials of the quiz program.
Alex Trebek, who started hosting Jeopardy! in 1984 and died in November 2020 at the age of 80, made the news.
Mike stepped resigned from the position only days after it was announced that he would be taking over when derogatory remarks he made against women, Jews, and Haiti resurfaced.
The revelation comes only weeks after he was named as the next host of the popular game show. (Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carol Kaelson)
Sony issued a statement at the time, saying, “We support Mike’s decision to stand down as host.” Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the harsh language he used in the past caught us off guard this week. We’ve discussed our worries and expectations for the future with him.
‘Mike has been with us for the last two years, and he has guided the Jeopardy! crew through the most difficult period in the show’s history. We hope that as EP, he would continue to act professionally and respectfully.’
His decision came after days of controversy over his previous sexual harassment cases and obscene remarks made about co-host Beth Triffon during their 2013-2014 podcast The Randumb Show.
In the days leading up to his departure as host, the TV personality faced increasing criticism for previous remarks and behavior. (NATAS photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Richards apologized for his harsh remarks in a statement, telling People, “It is humbling to face a very humiliating moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from almost a decade ago.”
‘With hindsight, there is no justification for the remarks I made on this podcast, and I apologize profusely.’ The podcast was supposed to be a series of raunchy discussions between lifelong friends who had a history of teasing one other.’
Mike was scheduled to co-host alongside Mayim Bialik of The Big Bang Theory. (Photo: Jeopardy!/YouTube)
‘Even with the passage of time, it’s obvious that my efforts to be humorous and provocative were not appropriate, and I’ve deleted the episodes,’ he added.
‘I have significant and important duties as a role model today as a parent, husband, and public figure who talks to many people via my position on television, and I aim to live up to them.’
Mike was an unexpected pick to succeed Alex Trebek after his passing. Joe Scarnici/WireImage/WireImage/WireImage/WireImage/WireImage/WireImage/WireImage/Wir
According to a story published by The Ringer, Richards’ podcast was billed as a behind-the-scenes look at his former employer, The Price Is Right.
Richards made several improper remarks about women throughout the podcast’s 41-episode run, from which the site captured and released a number of audio snippets.
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Since Richard’s departure, it’s been announced that Bialik, along with other guest hosts, would serve as the interim host until a permanent successor is found.
Fans have been debating who they want as the next host for months, with many voicing support for LeVar Burton, who guest hosted earlier this summer.
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