Mike Richards Fired as ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ EP
Less than two weeks after he stepped down as host of “Jeopardy!,” Mike Richards has been fired as executive producer of the show.
Richards will also no longer serve as EP on “Wheel of Fortune.”
In an email obtained by "Extra," Suzanne Prete, executive vice producer, business and strategy, wrote to staff, “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.”
With Richards’ exit, Michael Davies, who is the EP of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” will step in for now. She said, “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.”
Suzanne ended her email, writing, “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.”
Over a week ago, it was announced that Mayim Bialik would be in filling in temporarily as host. According to Deadline, Bialik will be taping three weeks of episodes for the show.
Mike stepped away from hosting after backlash to resurfaced statements on a podcast.
In a statement obtained by “Extra,” Mike said, “As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately.
Richards ended his note with an apology to the show's staff, saying, “I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”
Days before his exit as host, Richards issued an apology after audio from old episodes of “The Randumb Show” podcast resurfaced on The Ringer, which included Richards making disparaging remarks about women.
The 46-year-old told The Ringer in a statement, “It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago. Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”
He continued, “The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around. Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them.”