For many years, families have gathered in the living room in the evening to watch none other but the famous television game show Jeopardy! If you grew up anytime in the ‘80s or ‘90s, you probably have some similar memories of your own. Jeopardy! is no boring game show, though; there’s a twist. The questions are presented in the form of answers, and the contestants have to guess the answer, which is ultimately the question.
As time goes by, Jeopardy! continues to surprise us with amazing and unique trivia content on national TV. However, some things have changed since the last time you caught up with the show. At the end of the summer of 2021, Sony revealed that Mike Richards would no longer be the executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Michael Davies, best known for his work on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, was going to replace him for the time being, until Sony could find a permanent replacement.
What Happened With Mike Richards and Jeopardy!?
After Alex Trebek, the beloved longtime host of Jeopardy!, passed away, the search for a new host began with no delay. The studio thought they hit a jackpot when they announced Mike Richards to be the next host of the iconic game show. Richards was also the executive producer of the show at the time, so he possibly had a big say in this decision.
Unfortunately for Richards, he was fired before he even got to start his new job. Only a few days after the announcement, Sony revealed that they will no longer be working with Mike Richards. In the meantime, the production of Jeopardy! would continue with guest hosts. The studio didn’t want to waste any time and further delay filming because of this unfortunate incident.
The real reason why Mike Richards was dismissed is because of the offensive comments he made a few years back. In the wake of cancel culture, Richards couldn’t escape the all-seeing eye of social media. Back in 2013, Richards hosted a podcast called “The Randumb Show.” On that podcast, he made offensive jokes about women, Jews, and other minorities. He has since apologized for that, but that didn’t change anything in the eyes of Sony and the fans of Jeopardy!.
Even though Richards stepped down from the role of Jeopardy!’s host himself, he still brought a lot of negative attention to the show. After issuing a public apology and stating that his actions do not reflect the beliefs and values of Jeopardy! and the ABC television network, the show still got some backlash. In addition to that, the show’s viewers were questioning Richards’ authority as a host.
Who is the Host of Jeopardy! Now?
When Mike Richards was appointed as the new host of Jeopardy!, he wasn’t meant to host alone. Mayim Bialik, star of Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, was going to keep him company as another new host of Jeopardy!. Supposedly, neither star would have been able to commit to hosting Jeopardy! full-time, so hiring two hosts seemed ideal.
Mayim Bialik was also one of the guest hosts that came on the show since Alex Trebek’s passing. Mayim was arguably one of the most successful guest hosts this year. Her humor and presentation are quite unique and quirky, but she has enough recognition and star power to pull it off. Hiring Bialik and firing Richards seems to have been the right choice, as the show already rose in ratings in the short time Richards has been gone.
Don’t worry, Mayim Bialik is not alone! She is sharing her full time hosting duties with Ken Jennings. If you’ve been watching Jeopardy! for a while, you must have heard this name before! Ken Jennings holds the title for the longest winning streak in the history of the show. Jennings also appeared on the show as a guest host earlier this year, which gave him a new introduction to the world of Jeopardy!. You can read more about the two new posts here.
Even though Bialik and Jennings don’t have to work together, they make an excellent team. Viewers are happy Richards is off the stage following his controversy. Asking him to step down from the role of the new permanent host of Jeopardy! was the right move for the show and network.
Why Were Richards’ Episodes Aired?
Multiple news outlets told us that Richards was fired not only as the host, but as the show’s executive producer, and yet, his episodes were still aired. He only held the role of the permanent host for a very short time, but he managed to record a week’s worth of episodes. Each episode was aired, despite the obvious assumption that Richards’ affiliation with the game show would bring the ratings down. Why?
It’s simple; the episodes were aired because of the contestants! First of all, it wouldn’t have been fair to strip these lovely people of their right to appear on national TV just because of a controversy that they had nothing to do with. Second of all, there was one specific contestant that deserves a little extra attention—Matt Amodio. At the time of filming, Amodio was on a huge winning streak. If you haven’t seen his episode yet, we won’t spoil it for you. Go and watch it, and then let us know what you think!
It seems as though it will take a few months or years for this to blow over. In the meantime, we are curious to see what you think of the current guest hosts of Jeopardy!. Who has been your favorite guest host so far? Share your opinion with us in the comments!
And if you’re looking for more behind-the-scenes scoop and insider information on the beloved television game show, check out our articles on weird and wild Jeopardy! scores and situations, behind-the-scenes facts about Jeopardy! tapings, how much money contestants really win, how to get on Jeopardy!, and more!