‘Jeopardy!’ names permanent showrunner to replace ousted Mike Richards — permanent host decision yet to come

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

Jeopardy!” has selected Michael Davies as its permanent executive producer and showrunner.

The syndicated game show, owned by Sony, hired Davies from Embassy Row as an interim EP Aug. 31, 2021, after Mike Richards was ousted from the job.

Richards had originally been hired as EP of both “Jeopardy!” and its sister show, “Wheel of Fortune” in 2019.

After the death of longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek in November 2020, the show began a search for his replacement while using guest hosts to fill in — some of whom were viewed as potential replacements. One of those guest hosts was Richards — who reportedly manipulated the taping schedule to give himself a chance on camera.

Eventually, the show announced Richards would become Trebek’s permanent replacement, a move that many saw as Richards essentially hiring himself although he claimed the decision was in the hands of Sony execs. The show also picked Mayim Bialik as host of primetime specials it had sold to ABC, a move that it appeared to try to use to take focus away from Richards’ promotion.

Meanwhile, comments he made on a podcast and allegations about discrimination while he was EP of “The Price is Right” had been circulating and he was ultimately axed altogether after just one day on the job as host (he did appear in five episodes because the show tapes five per day).

Sony named Bellamie Blackstone as EP and showrunner of “Wheel” in March 2022, meaning duties will become split between the two programs for the first time in many years.

Harry Friedman had EP’d “Wheel” since 1995 and joined “Jeopardy!” in 1997 as a producer but was promoted to the top role in 1999. He has since retired, which triggered Richard’s hiring as showrunner.

“Jeopardy!” still has to name a permanent replacement for Trebek. It’s finishing out its current season by having Bialik and former champ Ken Jennings taking turns hosting.

Bialik is committed to the Fox sitcom “Call Me Kat” but there’s been no word if the show, which has garnered mediocre ratings, will get a Season 3.

Jennings had been appearing on ABC’s game show “The Chase” but exited the show earlier this year without explanation, sparking speculation that the shift was made to allow him to take over “Jeopardy!” full time, though there has been no common from him or the show.