Now it appears one of the lesser-known personalities is in line to replace Trebek permanently.
Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, who guest hosted the show from Feb. 22 to March 5, is in advanced talks to become the popular game show’s permanent host, Variety’s Cynthia Littleton reported.
Richards is clearly the front-runner, Littleton wrote, but added that “there’s no certainty that the sides will close a deal and that other candidates remain in the mix.”
A Sony Televison source not authorized to speak publicly said discussions with potential hosts are still ongoing.
Richards wasn’t exactly a fan favorite judging by some of the reaction to the news on social media. But he does have experience hosting game shows, most recently the Game Show Network’s 2012 revival of The Pyramid and its 2017 iteration Divided. He was also reportedly a candidate to host The Price is Right after Bob Barker’s retirement, but the job ultimately went to Drew Carey.
As an executive producer on the show, Richards is one of the people responsible for choosing Trebek’s permanent replacement. As a result, he’s drawn comparisons to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was in charge of vetting former President George W. Bush’s vice presidential candidates before ultimately selecting himself.
“We searched high and low and it was ME all along!” former Washington Post TV critic-turned-editor Hank Stuever snarked on Twitter.
James Holzhauer, the professional gambler turned Jeopardy! star after winning 32 straight games (before being defeated by a librarian from the Philadelphia suburbs), also mocked the news on social media.
Sony Pictures declined to comment, and Richards could not immediately be reached.
Jeopardy! still had guest hosts lined up through the middle of August. Up now is David Faber, the host of CNBC’s morning show Squawk on the Street. Farber was once a Jeopardy! competitor, appearing during the show’s Power Players Tournament in 2012.
Longtime Fox Sports announcer Joe Buck is up next. Buck will be the show’s final guest host, and his episodes will air Aug. 9 through Aug. 13.