The tumult proceeded at “Jeopardy!” as Mike Richards was ousted as executive producer of the iconic game show.
Sony Pictures Television’s decision to remove Richards from his leadership role comes under about fourteen days after he stepped down as the show’s host in the midst of a tumult over his past offensive comments on a now-defunct podcast called “The Randumb Show” and alleged mistreatment of models on “The Price Is Right.”
The studio had chosen Richards on Aug. 11 as the successor to beloved host Alex Trebek, who died on last November.
Yet, the handover was chaotic. Richards at first aided coordinate the search for a replacement for Trebek, including lining up a series of celebrity guest hosts, however at that point tossed his cap in the ring the previous spring.
Sony executives said Richards was eliminated from the selection process around then — yet an insight waited that he played a part in his choice as host of the game show, inciting an objection from loyal “Jeopardy!” fans and some staff individuals from the show.
After Richards surrendered the on-camera role on Aug. 20, Sony said Richards would proceed as chief maker. However, that circumstance end up being indefensible. He additionally will as of now not run the companion show, “Wheel of Fortune.”
“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,” Suzanne Prete, executive vice president for business and strategy at “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!,” said in an email to staff members Tuesday morning.
“That clearly has not happened,” Prete wrote.
Long-lasting game show maker Michael Davies from Embassy Row will assume control over the creation of the two shows “on an interim basis until further notice,” Prete said.
The British producer — whose new TV credits include Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” CBS’ “The Job” and AMC’s “The Talking Dead” — has been partnered with Sony Pictures Entertainment since 2008, when he sold his Embassy Row creations house to Sony. Davies recently filled in as head of elective series and specials for ABC Entertainment, where he regulated the development of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Nearly two decades ago, Davies built the U.S. version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” into a juggernaut for ABC.
With Tuesday’s executive producer switch, Sony desires to quell the controversy that has tarnished one of the crown jewels of its TV empire. A Sony executive, who was not approved to talk freely, said the controversy had eroded Richards’ capacity to lead the two shows. Without the help of his staff or of “Jeopardy!” watchers, the studio chose to make a clean break.
Richards taped five episodes as host for the upcoming season of “Jeopardy!” before he and Sony executives concluded it was best for him to venture down as the substance of the show. Those scenes are booked to run the seven day stretch of Sept. 13.
He became executive producer in mid-2020, taking over for Harry Friedman, who had run “Jeopardy!” for over twenty years and had painstakingly watched the show’s standing. Sony executives had a proclivity for Richards, accepting that he had made a brilliant showing holding the creation together after Trebek’s death from complications of pancreatic cancer.
Sony executives have said that, despite the fact that Richards had been checked, they were uninformed of the digital broadcast that he hosted in 2013 and 2014 in which he utilized hostile language and took a stab at parody. As indicated by a report in the Ringer, Richards offered remarks slandering Jews, little individuals and women in the podcast “The Randumb Show.”
The report in the Ringer prompted a public clamor, including a reprimand from the Anti-Defamation League, which required an examination.
From the get-go in his career, Richards facilitated a small bunch of TV shows, including “Beauty and the Geek,” “Divided” and “The Pyramid.” But for a lot of his profession, Richards had worked in the background as a game show maker. He didn’t have a high open profile before his “Jeopardy!” fill-in spell recently.
He apologized for “the unwanted negative attention that has come to ‘Jeopardy!’ over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing. I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”
Richards, through a representative, declined to remark on Tuesday. .
The show has been on break this week, and production was scheduled to resume after Labor Day. It was not satisfactory who may host upcoming episodes.
Mayim Bialik, one of the stars of the popular Warner Bros. sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” stepped in this month to shoot three weeks of scenes of the show as the Culver City studio continued its quest for an permanent host.
Sony’s battles highlight the trouble of supplanting a transmission legend, especially at a program that is known for high-minded excellence.
“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,” Prete said in the memo, which noted she would take a more hands-on role in the production.
“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,” Prete said.
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