Sony Pictures Television executive producer Mike Richards has been confirmed as the permanent host of Jeopardy!, securing the position after months-long process of guests hosts on-air auditions to replace the legendary Alex Trebek. Fans are saddened that the studio didn’t select LeVar Burton or anyone else more qualified for that matter.
Richards is familiar with the show as a long-time game show veteran who also served as the executive producer of Jeopardy! since last year. Fans of the show argue Sony’s motives to bring him on as a permanent host over some of the other personalities who have served as guest hosts these last 8 months.
Fans question whether it was a rightful competition amongst the nearly 15 personalities auditioning for a spot, including the beloved LeVar Burton. According to a report from Variety, Richards will continue in his role as executive producer of Jeopardy! and its companion “Wheel of Fortune” while stepping in front of the camera.
Former host Trebek died last November at the age of 80. He became an icon in the role as the host of the syndicated show for nearly 37 years.
Criticism has followed Richards for his involvement in past employment discrimination lawsuits involving women who worked for The Price Is Right during his tenure as executive producer. Variety unveiled details of the litigation, which has been ongoing for a decade long.
Sony Pictures stands by their decision to employ Richards as the host, noting his impressive capabilities to handle the demands of hosting, coordinating clues and calling on contestants. His talents from watching the show for years behind the camera evidently reminded Sony of the same juggling act Trebek maintained for decades.
Nonetheless, fans who watched a group of gifted, diverse and dynamic guest hosts are disappointed with the decision. Richards basically appointed himself to the position and fans are taking to social media to express their outrage.
Despite what fans want, Jeopardy! viewers can expect to see Mike Richards in his newest role as permanent host soon enough.