Mike Richards fired as Executive Producer of 'Jeopardy!', 'Wheel Of Fortune'

By ANI

WASHINGTON: A few days after stepping down as the host of ‘Jeopardy!’, Mike Richards has also been fired as the executive producer of the beloved quiz show and ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ by Sony Pictures Television.

According to Variety, Michael Davies, the ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ executive producer whose Embassy Row shingle is based at Sony, will take over production duties in the interim.

An email was sent to staffers on Tuesday by Suzanne Prete, executive vice president, business and strategy, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’.

“Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately. We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened,” the email read.

Prete said she would be also be taking a more active day-to-day role on the shows moving forward.

The latest news comes few days after he was forced to step down as ‘Jeopardy!’ host, just nine days after he was tapped to succeed the legendary Alex Trebek as the face of the beloved quiz show.

The email sent by Prete further read, “I know this has been a challenging time for the entire team, and I want to thank you all for your cooperation and professionalism over these last few weeks … I will be more involved in the day-to-day on our shows moving forward and I am looking forward to working closely with all of you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.”

Earlier this month, Sony Pictures TV announced that executive producer Richards had been selected to succeed the legendary host Alex Trebek as the face of the quiz show.

However, Richards announced that he is stepping down from his role as a host from the show after controversial clips featuring him making disparaging comments about women on a previous podcast hosted by him, surfaced on social media.

According to Variety, he made the comments on ‘The Randumb Show’ while also serving as executive producer of ‘The Price Is Right’. In the podcast, Richards had asked his female assistant and his female co-host whether they had ever taken nude photos. In another episode, he called his co-host a “booth ho.”

Reportedly, the episodes he had shot before his exit as his first and only day as ‘Jeopardy!’ permanent host will run on September 13.

As per Variety, while confirming his exit as a host from the show, Sony Pictures TV in a statement said that Richards’ image was too battered for him to take the helm of one of television’s most prestigious and popular brands.

However, the studio also voiced support for him at that time revealing that he will remain as the executive producer of the show.

“Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the ‘Jeopardy!’ team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect,” Sony Pictures TV said in a statement.

But, the decision has been changed now.

Richards shot his first and now the last day of the show as a permanent host on August 19. As per Variety, a new round of guest hosts will be approached to shoot episodes to launch the show’s 38th year in syndication next month.

A few days earlier, actor Mayim Bialik who was previously tapped to host the ‘Jeopardy!’ primetime and spinoff series, was announced as an interim ‘Jeopardy!’ host.

Apart from Mayim, the search for a permanent host to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Alex Trebek, who died last November at age 80, includes a long list of notable personalities such as Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Dr Mehmet Oz, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie, Dr Sanjay Gupta, Aaron Rodgers and former contestants Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen.