"Jeopardy" may have found its permanent host.
A slew of guest hosts have been filling the spot left vacant after Alex Trebek, who helmed the show for 36 years, died in November 2020. Now, it has emerged that the show's own executive producer Mike Richards, who joined the team just last year, is in advanced negotiations with Sony Pictures Television to take on the role permanently, Variety has revealed.
A Sony Pictures spokesman said there were ongoing discussions with several candidates. However, a source close to the situation claimed that Richards remained a front-runner. That being said, the insider added that there’s no certainty that the sides will close a deal.
Hosting is not new territory for Richards, who has taken the reins on shows including "High School Reunion" on The WB network and "Beauty and the Geek" for The CW. In 2008, he joined "The Price Is Right," as co-executive producer, helped shop the revival of "Let’s Make a Deal" to CBS, and proceeded to rack up 4,000 hours worth of producing game shows.
News that he may take over as the permanent host of "Jeopardy!" likely leaves several people vying for the spot disappointed.
Viewers have long favored former contestant Ken Jennings to succeed Trebek, though that has not deterred guest hosts LeVar Burton and Aaron Rodgers, who both hoped they would be considered for the position.
"It's difficult to explain, but there's something inside me that says this makes sense," Burton recently told The New York Times of taking on the role permanently. "I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. I have been watching Jeopardy! more or less every night of my life since Art Fleming was host. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone, and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant."
Meanwhile, during an interview with The Ringer, Rodgers did not hold back in motivating why he would be the ideal host.
"I’m not shy at all about saying I want the job," the Green Bay Packers quarterback stated.
"I feel like I bring something different to the stage — I’m the youngest of any of the guest hosts, I’d be the youngest host of just about any major game show, I bring an audience from the NFL, and I feel like I appeal to nerdy people, too, because I was a nerd in high school and got caught in that weird phase of wanting to be a jock and an athlete and also really caring about getting good grades.
"And at the same time, there’s not many bigger fans of the show than me," Rodgers added. "I’ve been watching it for years and years and years. I respect the show and appreciate the history of it, and also there’s my background of stepping in for a legend and their footsteps. I feel like all that combined makes me a pretty good candidate."
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