The late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek left enormous shoes to fill, but it sounds like the game show may have finally found a permanent host. The show's executive producer Mike Richards is rumored to be in talks to host the show permanently.
But fans want to know more about his personal life. Is Mike married? Does he have any children? Here's everything we know about the television host-to-be.
Mike Richards is married and has two children.
Not much is known about Mike's personal life, but he has revealed over time that he is married to Stephanie Richards (neé Hull), and they share two children. In an interview with Parade regarding how Jeopardy! has impacted his life, Mike mentioned that Alex Trebek genuinely cared about his family, including his children.
Mike said, "We were talking about the show and he transitioned to talking about the impact of COVID-19. He called it a challenge to humanity. He wanted to know how not getting to go to school was affecting my children. He genuinely cared about my kids but also all children."
Mike doesn't have much of a social media presence, but he is invested in game shows.
While Mike prefers to mostly keep his personal life off social media, he has lots of experience in the television industry, especially when it comes to game shows. In 2009, he sold the show Let's Make a Deal to CBS and co-executive produced The Price Is Right from 2008 until 2019.
Before Drew Carey took over as host, Mike was in talks to host The Price is Right. Since 2020, he has been an executive producer on both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
The pending decision to make Mike the permanent host of Jeopardy! has been met with some controversy, especially from fans of the show who were hopeful LeVar Burton would be the host.
Mike was also involved in a discrimination lawsuit in 2012; a former The Price Is Right model sued the show for gender discrimination and was awarded $7,763,440 in damages, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Many fans think that it's unfair that someone like Mike — who has worked with the show for over a year — will become the next host of Jeopardy! after the show gained extensive press about the process of finding a new host.
An explosion of memes rocked the Twittersphere when Variety announced in August 2021 that he was in final negotiations to become the permanent host, especially after spending a mere two weeks guest hosting the show already.
One user said, "Pretty on-brand that everyone will be saying, 'Who is Mike Richards?'"
Another chimed in, "I don’t know who Mike Richards is except someone no one on my timeline wants hosting Jeopardy."
Many have also pointed out that ABC and Jeopardy! deliberately stacked the odds against other hosts like LeVar by assigning them fewer weeks of guest hosting duties and putting their host episodes during the Olympics, which has competed for air time.
Maybe Mike will exceed expectations as the world gets to know him — or maybe Jeopardy! powers that be will listen to the fans.