On August 20, Sony Pictures Television released a statement announcing Mike Richards is stepping down as host of the American game show Jeopardy!
This development comes after a series of controversies regarding the 46-year-old came to light recently.
The former host made sexist comments about women during his podcast The Randumb Show in 2013-2014. Mike Richards had called a model “b**th s**t” in the podcast, along with making other such derogatory comments on women’s weight.
Furthermore, the decision to find his replacement was also due to a discrimination lawsuit against Mike Richards (when he was with The Price Is Right).
Mike Richards was quoted in the statement saying:
“The last several days, it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.”
The producer further added:
“I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today.”
Who is likely to replace Mike Richards as the new Jeopardy host?
In April 2020, several guest hosts were announced as ABC scrambled to find a permanent replacement after former host Alex Trebek’s death on November 8, 2020. Initially, Mayim Bialik (who rose to fame as Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit show The Big Bang Theory) was selected as a guest host.
However, it was later announced that the on-screen neuroscientist would host primetime specials for Jeopardy! However, no official comments have been made by Sony to name her as the permanent host of the main show.
Other fan favorites for hosting Jeopardy
A couple of past guest hosts of the show are wanted by fans to be the permanent host. These primarily include American author and presenter Ken Jennings, who also holds the record for longest consecutive wins at the show, at 74.
Jennings also maintained the highest Nielsen ratings as a guest host with an average rating of 6.0. This makes him the guest host with the highest rating, which is also higher than Mike Richards.
Another fan favorite is an American actor and Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton. Although his average Nielsen rating stands at 4.4, reportedly the lowest of any guest hosts, several fans want Burton to be the new permanent host.
Free Guy star Ryan Reynolds and Community star Yvette Nicole Brown also came out to support the star potentially being the new Jeopardy! host.
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Furthermore, a petition on Change.org also wants LeVar Burton to be the next host of Jeopardy!, with 270,000 people already signing it.