That’s because the game show is getting closer to finalizing a deal with executive producer and former guest host Mike Richards to become the new permanent host, according to Variety. The news comes after a massive fan campaign for the former Reading Rainbow host and Star Trek actor to become the new host after a successful stint as a guest.
So grateful and humbled. Thank you all for this opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks to the folks at Jeopardy! and the Sony team and candidates. What a week! pic.twitter.com/dgT1YUpjcm
– LeVar Burton (@levarburton) July 31, 2021
For what it’s worth, Burton has also pushed to become the new permanent host himself, but it looks like the game show has other plans as Variety reports he’s in “advanced negotiations” with Richards. If Richards is selected, he will be Jeopardy’s first permanent host since the death of Alex Trebek, who hosted the show for 36 years, last November.
A spokesperson for Sony Pictures told Variety that discussions with several potential candidates are underway, however. A source close to the show also told the publication that there was no guarantee Richards’ deal would be made and that Jeopardy would keep talks with other candidates open as a result. Yet Richards remains the favorite, according to this source.
Richards has produced over 4,000 hours of game shows ranging from The Price Is Right to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, as well as many other TV classics.
In addition to being one of the many guest hosts of Jeopardy since Trebek’s death, Richards is also an executive producer for the classic game show, a job he landed last year. The Variety report states that Richards “wowed the brass at Sony Pictures with his fast-paced mastery of the game and easy on-air manner.”
For more on Jeopardy, check out this heartwarming moment in 2019 when a competitor did something so sweet it almost made Trebek cry.
Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guidebook maker for IGN. You can follow it on Twitter @LeBlancWes.