The months long search has finally come to a conclusion. Jeopardy Executive Producer Mike Richards will officially take over for the legendary Alex Trebek and be the host of Jeopardy. Now some of these headlines on Twitter are misleading, saying that he's splitting hosting duties with Miyam Bilak, of Big Bang Theory fame. But here's the official press release.
As you can see, Mike Richards is really the one who's the new host of the daily Jeopardy show we watch each night. Bialik is hosting some spinoff series for the show. Kind of excited to see what those could be.
Look, a lot of people are going to be mad online over this decision, but I think they are good choices. I wrote this blog in defense of Mike Richards last week.
I genuinely think that he did the best job of all the guest hosts they had. He was certainly near the top. And it makes sense for someone who has worked in game shows for years to take over instead of some celebrity. Like I said in that blog, Jeopardy isn't about the host. It's about the game itself. Alex Trebek understood that better than anyone which is why he was so perfect. I said all along that I wanted the next host to be someone who's name we didn't even know. And Mike Richards fits that bill. (I also thought CNBC's David Faber was fantastic).
Now, it is an undeniably funny twist that he was also serving as the show's executive producer. There are plenty of jokes to be made about how he led this whole search for a new host, just to give himself the role. Pretty funny. It's like when Dick Cheney led a search for who George W. Bush's running mate should be and then just named himself Vice President. I'll be honest, I don't hate the move. Snake it til you make it. There's also reports that apparently Richards wasn't even originally supposed to be a guest host. Some celebrity cancelled, and according to Richards, he just filled in at the last second. But others have said that Richards made minimal to no effort to find an actual replacement and just thrust himself in the role instead. You have to respect that move.
But as fun as those jokes are to make, it's not like Richards was ultimately the one with final say. Sony, ABC, and a bunch of others were presumably involved in the process. And they decided that Richards was the man for the job. Judging by Twitter, I think most Jeopardy fans who actually watched all the guest hosts agree he's a good choice too. The only people mad are the ones who just decided it should be LeVar Burton because they like him and didn't actually watch him or everyone else host. The Internet mob needs something to be mad about, so this is their choice for the day and then they'll move on to something else.
There was a report that Richards was involved in a controversial lawsuit while producing The Price Is Right. But I guess ABC/Sony looked into it and decided it ultimately wasn't enough to cost him the job so I'll trust their judgement as they certainly know more about the case than the people online who only read a headline.
As for Bialik, I thought she did very well. In that blog above, I ranked her as one of my top choices. Although she did have this very funny moment where she dropped this tidbit like it was the funnest fact of all time.
Overall she was good though.
Jeopardy said they weren't looking for a short-term host and wanted this next person to be there for years, so we'll see if Richards can last. He'll have to deal with some hate for awhile, but that was likely going to be the case for anyone who had to fill the legendary Alex Trebek's shoes. I have faith in him to do a solid job and get better with more experience.
In the meantime, we have Joe Buck hosting for the rest of the week who has also done really well. Then we have a month long hiatus before the new season of Jeopardy returns with Mike Richards as the official host in mid-September. Wonder if Matt will still be going by then. The guy is unstoppable.