Mike Richards is in advanced talks to become the show’s permanent host. (EXCLUSIVE)

Mike Richards, the executive producer of “Jeopardy!”, is in advanced talks with Sony Pictures Television to take over as permanent host of the famous quiz show, which was formerly hosted by Alex Trebek for 36 years.

Following Trebek’s death in November 2020 at the age of 80, Sony introduced a succession of guest hosts, some of whom hoped to secure the permanent spot. Richards, who joined the show as executive producer only a year ago, charmed Sony Pictures executives with his knowledge of the fast-paced game and laid-back on-air demeanor.

According to a Sony Pictures representative, talks with numerous potential candidates are still underway. He wouldn’t say anything about Richards’ situation. Although Richards is clearly the front-runner, a source close to the matter cautioned that there is no guarantee that the sides will reach an agreement, and that other candidates are still in the running.

Richards previously hosted the Sony Pictures GSN cabler shows “Divided” and “The Pyramid.”

Richards formerly hosted the reality programs “High School Reunion” on The WB network and “Beauty and the Geek” on The CW. In 2008, he became a co-executive producer of “The Price Is Right.” The following year, he was promoted to executive producer and assisted in the sale of the CBS revival of “Let’s Make a Deal,” which he also executive produced. Richards had created over 4,000 hours of game shows by the time he took over “Jeopardy.”

Richards joined Sony as executive producer of the celebrity edition of the ABC series “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

Mayim Bialik, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Ken Jennings, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Aaron Rodgers, and former contestant Buzzy Cohen are among the other guest hosts who have taken over the show since the final Trebek episodes aired in January.

Jennings, a former contender, has long been considered the front-runner to succeed Trebek. With his 74-game “Jeopardy” winning streak from 2004, Jennings holds the record for the most consecutive “Jeopardy” wins. With $2.52 million in regular-play winnings (excluding later tournaments), he is also the show’s highest-earning winner.

Because of the lasting popularity of Alex Trebek, “Jeopardy!” is one of the few remaining major syndicated programmes that ranks as a television institution. The race for Trebek’s replacement was strong. Bialik and Cohen are said to have been among the standouts who were considered for the permanent position.

Reference:https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/mike-richards-jeopardy-host-alex-trebek-1235034673/

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