Amid a cascade of scandals, Mike Richards has stepped down as the host of the American TV game show ‘Jeopardy!’, just a few days after he was tapped in to succeed the legendary host Alex Trebek as the face of the quiz show.
According to Variety, the production on the new season of the beloved quiz show has been suspended and the search for a new permanent daytime host will begin soon. Richards, who is also the executive producer of ‘Jeopardy!’ was under fire after disparaging comments made by him about women on a previous podcast, hosted by him surfaced on social media.
According to Variety, he made the comments on ‘The Randumb Show’ while also serving as executive producer of ‘The Price Is Right’. In the podcast, Richards had asked his female assistant and his female co-host whether they had ever taken nude photos. In another episode, he called his co-host a “booth ho.”
Reportedly, the 46-year-old TV producer will remain the show’s executive producer. The episodes that he shot on Thursday in his first and only day as ‘Jeopardy!’ permanent host will run on September 13.
The makers of ‘Jeopardy!’ shared that they will run the Richards-hosted episodes taped Thursday because of the “need for continuity among contestants”, given that the winner of each episode continues to compete on the following episode.
For the unversed, Sony Pictures TV on Friday confirmed that Richards had agreed to quit his job as the ‘Jeopardy!’ host.
“Too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show,” Richards said addressing the backlash in his statement.
As per Variety, Sony Pictures TV concluded their statement saying that Richards’ image was too battered for him to take the helm of one of television’s most prestigious and popular brands.
“We support Mike’s decision to step down as host. We were surprised this week to learn of Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past. We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward,” Sony Pictures TV said.
However, the studio also voiced support for him revealing that he will remain as the executive producer of the show.
“Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the ‘Jeopardy!’ team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect,” Sony Pictures TV said in a statement.
Richards shot his first and now the last day of the show as a permanent host on August 19.
As per Variety, a new round of guest hosts will be approached to shoot episodes to launch the show’s 38th year in syndication next month.
The search for a permanent host to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Alex Trebek, who died last November at age 80, includes a long list of notable personalities such as Mayim Bialik, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Dr. Mehmet Oz, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Aaron Rodgers and former contestants Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen.