Mike Richards Exits 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' Following Backlash

Richards has faced a series of scandals since being announced as Alex Trebek's successor
Mike Richards Exits 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' Following Backlash
Photo: Jeopardy!
Former almost-Jeopardy! host Mike Richards is now former executive producer Mike Richards, as it was officially announced today that he would be departing from his EP position at both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune

This decision comes two weeks after Richards stepped down as host, though Sony Pictures Television said at the time that it would retain Richards as executive producer. Now, however, an internal memo explaining Richards' departure has apparently been sent to staff on both shows [via Deadline].

In the memo, Sony Pictures Television' Suzanne Prete said that they had hoped that Richards exiting as host would have "minimized the disruption and internal difficulties" that came over the last few weeks, but that "clearly has not happened."

Richards was dogged by scandal from the moment he was announced as Alex Trebek's successor, beating out a long list of potential candidates that many fans felt were more deserving of the role.

Soon after he stepped behind the Jeopardy! podium for his hosting role, Richards was made to address a series of decade-old lawsuits before being exposed for having made offensive comments about women, Jewish people, Haitian people, poor people and people with disabilities on his Randumb podcast, which he'd hosted from 2013 to 2014.

Mayim Bialik is currently filling in as Jeopardy! host, though with Richards now completely out of the picture, it's unclear where things are headed for the beloved game show. 

Read Prete's full letter below. 

Dear Team,

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.