Mike Richards fired as ‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer after host debacle

What is “fired”? Embattled “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards is done.

Richards — the briefly favored replacement host for the late Alex Trebek — has been officially disqualified as the showrunner for both that longtime game show and “Wheel of Fortune.”

The controversial 46-year-old stepped down from the coveted host gig last week amid public outrage and resurfaced sexist comments. However, Richards was expected to remain at the helm behind the scenes — as the executive producer of the beloved game show, while multiple guest hosts cycled through on screen.

Show insiders confirmed Tuesday that Richards was relieved of his duties at “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” in the EP capacity as well.

Mike Richards is no longer executive producer of "Jeopardy!"
Mike Richards is no longer executive producer of “Jeopardy!”

In a statement to The Post, Suzanne Prete, Sony Pictures Television’s executive vice president for business and strategy for the shows, cited the need to minimize “disruption and internal difficulties.”

Below is Prete’s full official statement to the staffs of both shows:

Dear Team,

I’m writing to let you know that 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.

Michael Davies from Embassy Row has agreed to help with production on an interim basis until further notice. Michael and I will work together with all of you in the weeks ahead to ensure that production remains on schedule and we do not miss a beat as we head into the new season.

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. As Ravi mentioned last week, 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. 



As The Post previously reported, fan backlash brewed immediately after rumors swirled that he was in “advance negotiations” for the host job earlier this month — Richards’ hasty exit comes on the heels of his apology for a series of sexist comments in an 8-year-old podcast — which he labeled a “terribly embarrassing” misjudgment.

The man who could not fill Trebek’s shoes copped to “insensitivity” after the resurfacing of crass wisecracks he made on “The Randumb Show.” He created and hosted the weekly late-night comedy talk show in the late ’90s as a student at Malibu’s Pepperdine University — but a later version was recorded in his office on the set of “The Price Is Right,” circa 2013 and 2014.

The now-married father of two referred to then-co-host and former assistant Beth Triffon as a “booth ho,” “booth slut” and “boothstitute,” and asked her about her “booby pictures” on her phone, the Ringer first reported, quoting episodes that have now been yanked from the web.

The Burbank, Calif., native also labeled Triffon’s friends “really frumpy and overweight,” saying “they look fat and not good,” while also declaring that women “dress like a hooker” on Halloween.

The outlet said it reviewed all 41 episodes after news broke that Richards was accused in lawsuits of harassing TV models, which he recently insisted did “not reflect the reality of who I am.”

In his unsuccessful media mea culpa last Friday, Richards also apologized “to each of you for the unwanted negative attention,” and vowed to do the work necessary to “regain your trust and confidence.”


New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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