Since Alex Trebek’s death last November, “Jeopardy!” has enlisted 16 news personalities, former contestants and celebrities — from Mayim Bialick to Aaron Rodgers to LeVar Burton — to stand behind the lectern and host the game show.
Now, it appears the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, is in final talks to be the new permanent host of the iconic show.
Here are five things to know about Richards.
He’s an Emmy winner
Richards has won three Daytime Emmy Awards and has been nominated 17 times as executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” He joined both shows in 2020, according to the “Jeopardy!” website.
IMDB lists four Emmys for Richards and his colleagues, however.
2021: Outstanding game show, “Jeopardy!”
2013, 2016, 2018: Outstanding game show, “The New Price Is Right”
He’s worked on other game shows
Before joining “Jeopardy!” Richards had more than 4,000 hours of game show programming under his belt.
According to “Jeopardy!” Richards spent more than 10 years as executive producer of “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal.” He started as co-executive producer of “The Price Is Right” in 2008 and became executive producer in 2009. Most recently, he served as executive producer of the 2020 celebrity-driven revival of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” as part of an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop and produce game shows for network, cable and streaming platforms.
He’s still in his ‘40s
Richards was born July 5, 1975, so he’s only 46 years old. He was born in Burbank, California. Richards and his wife, Stephanie Richards, have two sons.
He was a comedian
At Pepperdine University, Richards wrote, produced and hosted a weekly late-night comedy talk show called “The Randumb Show,” which won multiple college broadcasting awards. After graduating college, Richards was a stand-up comedian, which led to offers to host for multiple pilots, including the WB’s “High School Reunion,” and later, “Beauty and the Geek” for the CW.
He watched ‘Jeopardy!’ as a kid
Richards told Parade the show made him want to be smart.
“As a kid I remember Alex and the mustache. His voice was so good and familiar. My emotions towards the show haven’t changed. I am still as blown away by the contestants as I was then. It made me have that craving to be smart. Of course, I tried to figure out the clues, but as a kid, it is really tough. I love watching my kids get one or two right in an episode that directly relates to something they learned in school. It validates their hard work.”