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Why Is Mike Richards Hosting Jeopardy This Week?

Don't call it a comeback.

GETTY

If you tune in to watch Jeopardy! this week, you may be surprised to find that Mike Richards hosting the popular game show. But there’s a reason that the ousted former executive producer will be the host this week despite no longer being with the show in any capacity.

Why Is Mike Richards Hosting?

Before stepping down as the host of the syndicated episodes of Jeopardy! on August 20, Richards was able to film five episodes. Rather than scrap those and just do some reruns, ABC has opted to air those episodes this week, meaning that Richards will be the host from Monday through Friday of this week before disappearing for good.

Why Did He Step Down Again?

After months of searching, Richards was named as the syndicated host of Jeopardy! after a lengthy career as a host and executive producer in television. By 2020, he was the executive producer of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and was given the chance to take on the hosting role after Alex Trebek’s death at the end of last year.

However, his time as host was extremely short-lived after anti-semitic remarks made by Richards resurfaced online, along with concerns regarding a wrongful termination lawsuit by a model on The Price Is Right when he was a producer there. He was officially named the host on August 11 and only made it about a week and a half before stepping down due to an outpouring of complaints online. In a statement, Richards said that “moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.”

Who Is Replacing Him?

Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik is still set to be the primetime host but there is no clear replacement for Richards as the syndicated host of Jeopardy! at this time. The producers are reportedly planning to have a new set of guest hosts as they search for a longtime replacement, meaning that LeVar Burton still has a shot at landing the gig.