An answer to the biggest question in TV game shows might be near: Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards is in “advanced negotiations” to take over as the permanent host of the iconic quiz show, our sister site Variety reports.
Discussions are ongoing with several potential candidates, a spokesman for producers Sony Pictures Television stresses, and other candidates still remain in the mix. But “Richards is clearly the frontrunner,” per Variety, after he “impressed Sony Pictures brass with his command of the fast-paced game and easy on-air manner.”
Richards is one of more than a dozen guest hosts who’ve filled in for the late Alex Trebek, who hosted Jeopardy! from 1984 until his death last year of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. (Trebek’s final episodes aired in January.) Jeopardy! GOAT contestant Ken Jennings was the first to take over guest-host duties, followed by Richards, who hosted two weeks’ worth of episodes from February 22 to March 5. Richard’s stint was well-received, with TVLine readers preferring him to Jennings 48 percent to 39 percent in a poll.
Also getting a shot at guest-host duties in the weeks that followed: Katie Couric, Dr. Oz, Aaron Rodgers, Anderson Cooper, Bill Whitaker, Mayim Bialik, Savannah Guthrie, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton and current host David Faber, with Joe Buck still to come. (Buzzy Cohen also hosted the annual Tournament of Champions in May.) Against the whole field, Richards ranked fourth among TVLine readers in our most recent poll, trailing Burton, Bialik and Jennings.
Would you be happy with Richards taking over the Jeopardy! job full-time? No need to phrase your response in the form of a question: Vote in our poll below, and share your thoughts in the comments.