Jeopardy! may be on late summer hiatus, but preparations for Season 38 are sure to gather pace soon as executive producer Mike Richards prepares to take over as the game show’s permanent host.
After months of speculation, Richards is sharing the gig with The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik who will helm any primetime specials or tournaments. But one big one still remains regarding the decision to appoint these two as hosts: How involved was Richards in the decision-making process?
According to The New York Times, Sony revealed that while Richards initially led the hunt for Alex Trebek’s replacement, he stepped aside when he became a candidate. Richards only began executive producing the game show in May of 2020 and over his time there spent just 15 shoot days with Trebek before worsening health forced the beloved host to leave.
Despite stepping aside in the deliberation process, Richards reportedly maintained a key role in the focus group screenings which monitored reactions to the guest hosts for Season 37. Unlike Richards, Jeopardy!‘s other supervising producers are said to have been excluded from this process.
As Richards stated in a memo regarding buzz about his potential appointment as host: “The choice on this is not my decision and never has been.” Ultimately, the chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Tony Vinciquerra, was responsible for selecting Richards.
What do you think of the process? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for Jeopardy!‘s return when Season 38 kicks off.
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