Mike Richards, former longtime producer of television game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, has had an illustrious career. The monetary rewards of his many years in the entertainment industry are significant, although his exact salary for most of the TV shows he’s worked on isn’t public knowledge.
Early in Aug. 2021, Richards was announced as one of the two new hosts of the popular quiz show Jeopardy! along with former Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik. However, due to some comments Richards made long ago, he stepped down from the hosting gig and, not long after, was released from his position as executive producer.
How the former “Jeopardy!” producer got rich
Richards, successful in the television production business for many years, has won three Daytime Emmy Awards for his work in television. Not long after his college graduation, Richards took an internship at The Tonight Show. He eventually became a production assistant role and then moved to other production roles in various TV programs.
Richards was an executive producer on The Price Is Right and Let’s Make A Deal until the end of the 2018–2019 season. Other shows he's worked on over the years include:
- Wheel of Fortune
- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
- The Weakest Link
- Beauty and the Geek
- The Pyramid
Comments Richards made in 2013 and 2014 on a podcast, The Randumb Show, resurfaced this year as he was being considered for the permanent Jeopardy! host position. At various times, he is said to have made disparaging and stereotyping remarks about women and multiple minority groups.
"Jeopardy!" guest hosts
Beloved answer-and-question trivia television program Jeopardy! started in 1964. The syndicated version most of us are familiar with today, with iconic host Alex Trebek, began in 1984.
Following Trebek’s death in 2020 at the age of 80, the show's executives began a search for a replacement host. A total of 16 guest hosts took on the temporary role to finish the most recent season, including NFL’s Aaron Rodgers, news anchor Anderson Cooper, and CNBC financial journalist David Faber.
Richards was announced early in Aug. 2021 as one of the new long-term hosts for the quiz show, with Mayim Bialik taking the other spot. However, when the Anti-Defamation League pushed for Richards's resignation over his inflammatory comments from several years ago, he voluntarily stepped down from the hosting job.
Richards cited the backlash over his podcast remarks as causing “too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show." However, soon after that, the network fired him from his executive producer role for both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, taking him out of both shows entirely.