Prediction: Mike Richards Will Ruin Jeopardy

Earlier this afternoon, a report out of Variety said that Mike Richards was in advanced talks to become Alex Trebek’s replacement.

This would be a massive mistake by Sony. Mike Richards as a host was much too robotic; his constant repetition of “We were looking for” sounded straight out of the 2003 computer game. Moreover, the “Dick Cheney” method of searching leads to this coming across as incredibly self-serving. Furthermore, as has been reported here in the past, Richards has been sued for discrimination by former employees multiple times.

Moreover, Mike Richards has threatened to create gimmicks that would tear the fabric of the show apart. From a college tournament in teams (which he later attempted to disavow) to apparently looking to cast for a college professor tournament, I fear that a Mike Richards era would focus too much on gimmicks and not enough on the show that viewers in North America and around the world fell in love with.

If it goes ahead with this hire, the show would find itself dug into a hole from which it would be incredibly difficult to recover. Not one person I have spoken to within the Jeopardy! fandom actually thinks this is a good idea, and most actively despise it. Please don’t do this, Sony. You’ll absolutely regret this decision.

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26 Comments on "Prediction: Mike Richards Will Ruin Jeopardy"

  1. I think hiring the Producer to also host is a bad idea in general

  2. I agree. I absolutely don’t like this pick at all. He was in my bottom 3 of all the hosts. I’m very disappointed if this turns out to be true. I couldn’t wait for his 2 weeks of hosting to be over. Andy, do you know if there are any other sources or articles backing this one?

  3. The only point of disagreement I have with this article is the verb tense in the headline.

  4. This is like the old joke about the army where they promote you for being incompetent at your current job.

  5. totally agree; Faber is a great guest host and would be an amazing replacement; i’ve enjoyed him on opening bell and squawk on the street as a great foil to the boisterous cramer… he also has won a celeb jeopardy!

  6. The run of guest hosts has been a genuine way to pay tribute to Alex and at the same time provide compelling television as we all watch to see how these hosts do. But now we’re seeing the down side to it: Each host has developed fans (except maybe Oz), as well as people who were neutral to them and people who disliked them. So naturally if one of your favorites isn’t chosen, you’ll be disappointed. But at the same time, with any change, there’s a possibility you’ll say, “Well, I’ll give this a chance.” Unfortunately, since we’ve seen them all already, we already have given them that chance.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  7. We may never find out, but it would also be interesting to know who, if anybody, may have turned the job down. My feeling was that the guest hosts filled in out of respect to Alex, and weren’t auditioning. It’s interesting that, other than Richards, none of the other guests had game show hosting experience. I always felt that the permanent host would not be one of the celebrity guests, but somebody with the appropriate game show hosting experience. We’ve all seen people on other game shows who would be very good.

  8. Now that I got enough time to process this, I will say this: this is a worse decision than letting Mehmet host. Yes he was a cheat and a huckster, but we knew he had zero chance of ever becoming the permanent host. If the “advanced negotiations” bear fruit, we’re stuck with a guy with several lawsuits under his belt for years to come. Even Joe Buck’s stint, even though it hasn’t aired yet, hasn’t received that much backlash, nor did the Mehmet Oz stint or waiting so long to let LeVar Burton host.

    At this point, Sony may need to end the show and give it a few more years before coming back with renewed freshness. Yes, Alex would’ve wanted it to continue, but more than likely not like this. Plus, if more allegations against Mike come out (and hopefully not), his career won’t be the only thing destroyed. Even with his firing, there will be many people who will maintain that the show died with Alex. With a fresh new revival, they can finally wash their hands of Richards for good.

    That said, I hope those “advanced negotiations” are a tactic to lure in who Sony truly wants, like Disney did by sending out similar articles about John Krasinski finalizing a deal to play Captain America in the MCU to get Chris Evans in the role. But with all the hints, it’s highly unlikely. We should’ve known he wasn’t a fill-in from the moment he had himself hosting those two weeks despite Jimmy McGuire (who would’ve been a more credible emergency host) being on set and having already proven his worth after hosting so many practice games.

    2021 in general has been an annus horribilis for the show, what with all the controversies and quite a few of the guest hosts being lackluster at best. Harry Friedman really should’ve delayed his retirement, or at the very least Sony should’ve picked a different guy.

    • Apologies for the long rant, but I needed to vent my frustration. Again, Alex wouldn’t appreciate the Sony execs going through all these guest hosts only for them to go with the one they probably had in mind when he joined. In fact, all signs say he wanted Ken Jennings before his death, and I also would’ve been fine with Buzzy or even going outside the box with either Alex Faust or Laura Coates (Alex’s sincere picks he namedropped in an interview), or Brooke Burns (who’s proven to be a great host with The Chase and Master Minds, and mentioned in an interview that she’d like to be a guest host back in December). And of course, either Jimmy or Sarah.

      • Based on what I’ve seen of her, I always thought Brooke Burns would be an excellent choice.

  9. Why, Mike Richards? WHY?!

    • I’d ask the same thing, but I know now that he doesn’t care about Alex, his legacy, or the show, he only wanted to host to boost his own (already massive) ego.

  10. The one good thing I see from articles I’ve read on this:

    The other “guest hosts” in talks to become permanent are Buzzy and Mayim. Buzzy’s probably my first choice, and I really enjoyed Mayim, so if we don’t get Mike (which I hope to god we don’t) then the other options are both excellent picks IMO.

  11. Not a fan of this pick, not a fan of this process. At least the zany carousel will be over soon.

  12. He began to ruin Jeopardy! as soon as he took over as show-runner, with his ambiguous, “gotcha” clues, and general dumbing-down. He’s turned a venerated general academic knowledge challenge into a pub trivia quiz.

  13. Cue the famous ReviewBrah quote, “My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined”.

    Okay, the last part is exaggerating, but I am disappointed.

    I don’t understand Sony’s choices. I would have been fine with literally anyone else, even Mehmet. (Maybe not.) I agree that he focuses way too much on gimmicks instead of what Jeopardy originally was. Mike is, in my opinion, the worst combination of people – a good host, and a good producer (maybe not) but not a good guy.

  14. The closer and closer he ascends to the pinnacle of the Jeopardy! mountain, the more and more something just rubs me the wrong way about Mike Richards and his entire career path.

    How do you parlay an undistinguished career as a stand-up comic and a stint hosting a forgettable reality show on the WB at the age of thirty to, the very next year, being tapped as executive producer on The Price Is Right, one of the most iconic game shows in the history of television?

    Then he keeps climbing and joins Jeopardy! as executive producer, and not one year later is the heir apparent to succeed Alex Trebek, literally the most beloved game show host of all time.

    The sexual harassment allegations from 2011 just make it worse. I just can’t help but see this guy as a smarmy snake oil salesman who has glad-handed his way to the top. I’m disgusted that he would be the choice, especially parading a diverse and compelling (Dr. Oz excluded) cast of guest hosts which now comes off as just for appearances’ sake.

    And perhaps more to the point, I agree with Andy 100% that he’s already demonstrated less-than-excellent judgment during his time as EP and the show has (noticeably, if not drastically) suffered as a result. Jeopardy! is such an institution and the game itself just so perfect that I don’t expect it to die easily, but if there’s anything that can kill it, it’s the reign of Mike Richards the almighty.

  15. I am so glad you all feel the same way! I hated his two weeks hosting—and skipped most of the last week because he was terrible! Plus, isn’t there something wrong with a producer giving himself a gig? Seems like a creep and I just won’t watch. Anyone start a petition against this yet?

  16. How have ratings been. I think Ken Jennings got the best ratings but that was immediately after the last Alex Tre el episodes.

    I think Alex Trebek’s son should be given a guest host slot. He is a out 30 so he is not too young a d not too old. I don’t know if he wants to follow his father’s footsteps but it would be good to see him host.

  17. Carol Savery | August 6, 2021 at 1:07 pm |

    Mike Richards was never on my radar as the illustrious host of Jeopardy. His producer-inspired changes to the show are not stellar. Richards will put Jeopardy in ratings jeopardy. My top choices are Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik.

  18. Sadly, I just can’t see myself watching the show anymore if this snake is going to slither his way into being the permanent host.

  19. I just wanted to say thank you for writing this post! I’m not on any social media but love Jeopardy! and was upset when I heard that Richards was in negotiations for becoming permanent host. Thanks for saying everything that I’ve felt!

  20. Michael Falkner | August 7, 2021 at 6:03 pm |

    He’ll kill it, and I’ll give it two years.

    He’s utterly cancel-able already — being the at-least-partial subject of, now, FOUR lawsuits regarding misconduct since becoming EP of TPiR?

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