Mike Richards, the embattled Jeopardy! executive producer who served as the game show’s host for, like, a week, is out entirely, Deadline reports. He’ll also lose his role as executive producer of Wheel of Fortune, Sony EVP Suzanne Prete told staff in a memo today.
Jeopardy! has been in search of a new host following the tragic death of longtime presenter Alex Trebek. Richards, who claimed to have recused himself from the search but also had a hand in selecting what footage went to focus group audiences, ended up with the gig. Then, a report in The Ringer from earlier this month shed light on past sexist, racist, and anti-Semitic remarks made by Richards.
Following backlash, he stepped down from the hosting gig but remained in the executive producer’s chair.
Just last week, Sony announced that Prete, a veteran Sony exec, would essentially serve as babysitter for Richards. “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,” she wrote in today’s memo. “That clearly has not happened.”
In the meantime, Mayim Bialik, best known for her work on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, will take over hosting duties for the next three weeks. As Kotaku has previously noted, she, uh, doesn’t have the best track record herself.
Via Deadline, here’s the full note from Prete:
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.