Mike Richards is said to be emerging as the front-runner to fill the shoes of the late great Alex Trebek as the permanent Jeopardy! host. Variety reports that Richards—an executive producer on the show—is in advanced talks to take over one of TV’s biggest on-screen jobs following months of high-profile guest hosts, including LeVar Burton, Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric, and Dr. Oz. Sony bosses were reportedly impressed by Richards’ “command of the fast-paced game and easy on-air manner” during his guest stint on the show. Actress Mayim Bialik and former contestants Buzzy Cohen and Ken Jennings are among the other favored candidates, but Richards appears to be at the top of the list. Richards previously served as the host of Beauty and the Geek, The Pyramid, and High School Reunion. Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for 36 years before his death last year.
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