The search for a new Jeopardy! host (following Alex Trebek’s passing last fall) ended in a lot of controversy with the pick of Mike Richards, who was already executive producer of the show. That brought up discussions about Richards’ role in the host search and in taking an on-air guest hosting spot himself, and it really led to controversy after Claire McNear of The Ringer found a podcast Richards had hosted at Sony that was full of misogynistic and derogatory comments.
Following the publication of those comments, Richards stepped down as Jeopardy! host on August 20. But he continued on as executive producer of that show (and also Wheel of Fortune, a role he held before taking the EP reins at Jeopardy!). Now, he’s out of those roles as well. Sony’s Suzanne Prete (executive vice president, business and strategy) announced that move Tuesday, and announced that Michael Davies of Embassy Row (many know him from Men In Blazers, but his day job is TV production at Embassy Row, which is owned by Sony, and some of his many past production credits include serving as executive producer of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?) will be stepping in to help production on an interim basis:
JUST IN: Mike Richards out as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune EP, per note to staff from Suzanne Prete, Sony EVP, Business and Strategy pic.twitter.com/FsTp2dW7IY
— David Mack (@davidmackau) August 31, 2021
It seems to make some sense for Sony to make this move, as there was still strong criticism for Richards after he stepped away from hosting. (And it makes sense that critics of Richards kept up the pressure; while the executive producer isn’t usually seen on camera, that’s a crucial role with these shows, so Richards was still heavily involved even while not on air.) We’ll see where Jeopardy! and Wheel go for executive producers going forward.