Everything We Know About Mike Richards Becoming The Permanent Jeopardy! Host

"Jeopardy!" is reportedly very close to finding a new host to replace the late Alex Trebek. Trebek was the longtime host of the legendary game show, having served as the face of the series from 1984 until his death from pancreatic cancer in November 2020. Trebek continued to film new episodes of the show until mere days before he passed away, and executive producer Mike Richards was one of those who opened up about Trebek's last few shows. 

Richards told Extra in November 2020 about how the star continued to show his dedication to the show while on set for the final time. "He had surgery about three weeks ago and I thought, 'He's definitely not gonna be back for these tapings.' And he would get very stern with me. He'd go, 'No, I'll be there.' And — God love him — he was," Richards told the outlet. He also described Trebek's final day on set a "good day" and added, "In every sense of the word, he peacefully left."

Well, now it's actually Richards who's being eyed as Trebek's potential permanent replacement. Read on for what you need to know.

Mike Richards is reportedly in 'advanced talks' to take on Alex Trebek's role

According to an August report by Variety, Mike Richards is said to be in "advanced talks" to become the host of "Jeopardy!" As avid watchers will know, Richards took on hosting duties in February as a series of guest hosts have been trying their hand at the show in the wake of Alex Trebek's passing, including Robin Roberts and Aaron Rodgers

Sony Pictures Television is yet to officially confirm the news, only telling Variety that there are "several potential candidates" for the late Trebek's role. A source also shared "there's no certainty that the sides will close a deal" and claimed there are "other candidates" who "remain in the mix."

Richards does have a pretty impressive resume, though. Per his IMDb page, he's also appeared as a host on "Divided" and "The Pyramid," while serving as producer on a number of other major game shows including "The Price is Right," "Let's Make A Deal," and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." Richards also previously spoke about what would happen to the show after Trebek's death in November 2020. When asked about who would potentially replace the legendary host that same month, he told Extra, "When you have a legend like that, you don't try to fill the shoes. You put someone in that honors their legacy." We couldn't agree more.

Fans have strong reactions about Mike Richards taking the Jeopardy! gig

When word started buzzing that Mike Richards was the front-runner to be the next "Jeopardy!" host, longtime fans of the game show were quick to react. And, frankly, the majority of those who decided to make their feelings known on Twitter don't seem to be impressed — at all. One person posted a message that's along the lines of what a lot of people seem to be feeling, tweeting, "I have watched 'Jeopardy!' every day for decades. The Mike Richards news is a bummer."

Granted, another Twitter user did point out, "This guy might be the perfect pick because he's already got everyone responding 'Who is Mike Richards?'" That's honestly incredibly accurate. However, those who do know who he is are asking another question, with one person writing, "Why did they even bother having a tryout for 'Jeopardy' host if they were just going to install one of the executive producers?"

Although a fair share of people did indeed note the fact that it appears as if Richards simply gave himself the coveted gig, they also want to know why the star who everyone seemed to want to become the next host was apparently passed over.

Fan-favorite LeVar Burton has spoken out

Mike Richards may end up as the next "Jeopardy!" host, however, there was another star that fans of the show were eager to see step into the role. Although Variety notes that a range of celebrities filled in guest hosts — including Mayim Bialik, Katie Couric, Savannah Guthrie, Anderson Cooper, as well as former contestants Buzzy Cohen and Ken Jennings — the one that stood out among the rest was LeVar Burton.

One Twitter user summed up what they assumed a conversation with those behind the scenes of the show would look like, pointing out that even though "everyone [said] we want @levarburton," they instead went with Richards. "Hannibal" and "Pushing Daisies" creator Bryan Fuller added, "I DON'T CARE ABOUT MIKE RICHARDS, I CARE ABOUT @levarburton."

As for Burton himself, he also took to Twitter following the news that Richards may be getting the job, writing, "I have said many times over these past weeks that no matter the outcome, I've won." He continued, "The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and fans alike has been incredible! If love is the ultimate blessing and I believe that it is, I am truly blessed beyond measure."