Mike Richards, the producer once chosen to succeed Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy!, will no longer be serving as executive producer on Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune, effective immediately.
A Sony Pictures Television executive for both shows confirmed the move on Tuesday afternoon in an email statement to Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune staff.
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks,” Suzanne Prete, the executive vice-president for business and strategy for both game shows, said in an email to staff.
“That clearly has not happened.”
Richards was chosen as the successor to Trebek, a decision seen as divisive from the beginning after the show had embarked on a broad search for a new host that included actors, sports figures, journalists and celebrities. Not long after, revelations surfaced that he made demeaning comments about women, the homeless and others on a 2013-14 podcast.
The backlash culminated in Richards stepping down as host of the program earlier this month after taping multiple episodes of Jeopardy!, which will air as scheduled to maintain continuity with the contestants who won on those episodes.
At the time, Richards said in a resignation note that he would remain executive producer of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, a role he has held since May 2020.
Michael Davies, the founder of Sony Pictures Television’s bi-coastal production company Embassy Row, will help with production on an interim basis until further notice, the statement said.
More to come.