A regular host of Jeopardy! has yet to be named since the death of game show icon Alex Trebek in November 2020. With a lineup of guest hosts scheduled in the upcoming months, famous faces from celebrities to journalists will be manning the board of television’s legendary trivia game.
Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards is also on the guest host roster. Richards has plenty of experience in the game show arena, as well several Emmy wins for his work.
‘Jeopardy!’ exec Mike Richards has an impressive list of credits
Richards is currently juggling executive producing gigs for both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. With three Daytime Emmys to his name, along with 17 nominations, Richards spent over 10 years in the same role for two other hit shows.
According to Jeopardy.com, Richards began as co-executive producer of The Price Is Right in 2009, dropping the “co” part of the title just one year later. In 2009, he assisted in putting Let’s Make a Deal on CBS and was named executive producer of that show as well.
Richards took on executive producing responsibilities for the 2020 celebrity version of Who Wants to Be a Millioniare. He also has some on-air credits to his name, serving as host for shows like High School Reunion, Beauty and the Geek, and a 2012 reboot of The Pyramid.
Mike Richards is next in line as ‘Jeopardy!’ guest host
Ken Jennings wraps up his guest-hosting run on Feb. 19. Richards revealed the Jeopardy! GOAT was apprehensive about following in Trebek’s footsteps.
“Ken has told me that he’s felt an enormous amount of pressure,” Richards told Newsweek in January 2021. “He actually says at the beginning of his first episode that no one is going to fill those shoes. It’s silly to worry about trying to, so you go and you do your version of Jeopardy!—the best version of it you can. That is how you pay respect to what Alex did.”
Once Jennings leaves the lectern, Richards will be stepping in to head the quiz show from Feb. 22 through March 5, 2021.
“I was very fortunate to have a front row seat to watch and study Alex,” Richards remarked. “Stepping in as a guest host was incredibly humbling, emotional and a lot of fun. It will forever be the honor of my life.”
Alex Trebek made ‘being smart cool’
As for a permanent host for Jeopardy!, Richards isn’t in any rush to make a decision. He’s more comfortable with having a rotation for the time being.
“We’re really gonna take our time with it, because as a lifelong Jeopardy! fan myself, I know I’m not ready for a new full-time host,” Richards revealed. “Guest hosts will be the ongoing thing for now. Some will be people we will consider for the job. Some are people that will come in and host because they love the show.”
Richards credited Trebek for making Jeopardy! more than just a typical game show.
“I believe that his legacy is that he made being smart cool,” the Jeopardy! executive producer commented. “He’s kind of part matinee idol, part professor and part game show host. I think that those three things together really made being smart cool.”