Just last week, Sony Pictures announced the new permanent hosts of the game show “Jeopardy!” The announcement came after months of letting candidates guest host as a way of auditioning for the coveted spot behind the podium. A wide range of potential hosts auditioned including former contestant and Greatest of All Time winner Ken Jennings, long-time fan and fan favorite LeVar Burton, and PhD and actress Mayim Bialik.

In the end, the position of the new host of “Jeopardy!” went to a man who didn’t even intend to audition. Mike Richards filled in as a guest host at the last minute. He has previous hosting experience, but he was not planning to audition. He is currently the Executive Producer of “Jeopardy!” and wasn’t planning to expand his role.

Sony executives decided that Richards was the man for the job. He would stay on as EP but also become the new host. Meanwhile, they liked Bialik so much that they created a new hosting position and offered it to her. She is the host for spinoffs and “Jeopardy!” specials.

Even before Richards officially accepted the job, there was controversy. When Richards was a producer on the game show “The Price Is Right,” two of the show’s former models filed discrimination lawsuits against the show, and both mentioned Richards. In addition, in 2013 and 2014, Richards hosted a podcast called “The Rundumb Show.” According to The Ringer, on the podcast, Richards made many inappropriate comments about the female body. The podcast was taken down earlier this week.

In response to the controversy, Richards provided a statement to EW which explained, “Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”

As a result of the controversy, Richards has made the bold and unexpected decision to step down as the new host of “Jeopardy!” He will still work on the show as Executive Producer.

In a letter to the show’s staff, Richards explained, “I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately.”

Watch the video below to learn more about why Richards stepped down as host and what this means for the future of the show.

 

Who do you think will be the new host of “Jeopardy!”?