Mike Richards is out as Jeopardy! host after just one official day on the job, Variety reports.
The context for why he was pressured to step down can be found in this blog post, which we aggregated from an investigation by the Ringer’s Claire McNear. To summarize: Richards probably still had influence over the search for the new Jeopardy! host as executive producer, is reportedly a bad boss, and on a podcast (called “The Randumb Show” 🙁) that ran from 2013 to 2014 repeatedly made disparaging remarks about women (among others) even after he had already been involved in multiple discrimination lawsuits filed by women on The Price Is Right, which he ran as EP at the time.
“It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” Richards wrote in an official statement announcing the decision.
Sony concluded that Richards’ image was too battered for him to take the helm of one of television’s most prestigious and popular brands. The irony is that the studio moved in his favor because he was seen as a neutral personality rather than an established name that might overshadow the show and its famously rapid fire, answers-in-the-form-of-a-question format.
Richards will remain with Jeopardy! as executive producer, where no one can see him. The search for a new permanent syndicated host — because it turns out no one really cares about Mayim Bialik, who will just be hosting primetime specials and spinoffs — will resume. In the meantime, the show’s new season will continue with guest hosts.