Mike Richards taped a week's worth of Jeopardy episodes as host before stepping down
What is... awkward?
Controversial Jeopardy executive producer and now-former host Mike Richards taped one week's worth of episodes before stepping down on Friday. Despite his departure from the hosting job, the episodes will air as planned starting Monday, Sept. 13, serving as the first week of the quiz show's 38th season.
Richards served as host for only one day of production before resigning from the role, amid outcry over past offensive and sexist remarks he made on a podcast, revealed in a report by The Ringer. (Jeopardy tapes a week's worth of episodes in one production day.) A New York Times story published Friday described an uncomfortable environment on set, as "frustrations erupted in an emotional meeting on Thursday, where crew members told Mr. Richards his past behavior had imperiled the show's reputation," according to two sources.
The next day, Richards announced that he would step down in a memo to the Jeopardy staff obtained by EW. "It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy as we look to start a new chapter," he wrote. "Over 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. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today."
Following Richards' week of episodes, Jeopardy will once again feature a rotating lineup of guest hosts as studio Sony resumes the search for a new permanent host. It is currently unclear who will step in to host the show, or who might still be in contention to take over the job. Mayim Bialik, who guest-hosted earlier this year, was announced alongside Richards as the host of "prime-time and spin-off series" for Jeopardy.
Fan support has continued to rally around guest host LeVar Burton, who enthusiastically campaigned for a shot at the full-time job, and former Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings, who kicked off the run of guest hosts after the death of beloved longtime host Alex Trebek. EW has reached out to both Burton and Jennings for comment.
Jeopardy's new season will begin with returning champion Matt Amodio, who has become the third highest-earner in the show's history over an 18-game winning streak, behind only Jennings and James Holzhauer.
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