Variety reports Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards is in advanced negotiations to become the successor to the late Alex Trebek as the show’s permanent host. Richards had previously hosted Divided and The Pyramid on GSN.
This report will come as a huge disappointment to a great many online who have pushed for LeVar Burton to be the next host of Jeopardy!, especially in wake of a New York Times Magazine interview published in late June where the Reading Rainbow host said he felt like he’s “supposed” to take up the mantle left behind by Alex Trebek.
“It’s difficult to explain, but there’s something inside me that says this makes sense,” Burton said. “I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant.”
Richards, 46, joined the show’s production team just last year and Sony was reportedly impressed with his guest-host performance back in February. While it appears Richards is set to be the next host, Sony wouldn’t make an official statement on the matter.
It’s not a done deal at this point that Mike Richards will be the next permanent host and other candidates are still possibilities to land the high-profile game show job, but there is no word that anybody is higher on the list than Richards. Other than caving to internet backlash or Richards passing on the gig (which he would not do), it looks as if this is pretty much a go.