The search for a new 'Jeopardy!' host is over.
Mike Richards, the show's executive producer, will host the daily syndicated program, Sony Pictures Television announced Wednesday. Richards will take the reins from longtime host Alex Trebek, who passed away in 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being chosen to step into a role of this magnitude," Richards said in a statement. "I am incredibly humbled to step behind the lectern and will work tirelessly to make sure our brilliant contestants shine in each and every episode."
Richards will continue to serve as executive producer of "Jeopardy!" as well as "Wheel of Fortune" while serving as host of the iconic quiz show. Richards previously produced "The Price is Right" and "Let's Make a Deal" and previously hosted reality series "Beauty and the Geek" and a revival of game show "The Pyramid" in 2012.
"Alex believed the game itself and the contestants are the most important aspects of the show," he added. "I was fortunate to witness his professionalism, intensity and kindness up close and that will serve as the ultimate blueprint as we continue to produce the show we love."
Variety reported last week that Richards was the frontrunner for the role, which generated backlash online. Richards wrote in a memo to the show's staff that "the choice on this is not my decision and never has been."
Sony also announced Wednesday that "Blossom" and "The Big Bang Theory" star Mayim Bialik will host 'Jeopardy!' primetime series and spinoffs, including an upcoming "Jeopardy! National College Championship" special set to air on ABC next year.
"I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Jeopardy! family," Bialik said in a statement. "What started out with my 15-year-old repeating a rumor from Instagram that I should guest host the show has turned into one of the most exciting and surreal opportunities of my life!"
The studio appeared to deflect any thought that it was bowing to the dismay that some fans expressed when Variety reported last week that Richards was a top contender for the role.
“We took this decision incredibly seriously,” said Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Global Television Studios for Sony Pictures. “A tremendous amount of work and deliberation has gone into it, perhaps more than has ever gone into the selection of hosts for a show – deservedly so because it’s ‘Jeopardy!’ and we are following the incomparable Alex Trebek.”
"A senior group of Sony Pictures Television executives pored over footage from every episode, reviewed research from multiple panels and focus groups, and got valuable input from our key partners and Jeopardy! viewers," he added.
The show rotated through a number of guest hosts since Trebek's passing, including "Good Morning America" hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, "Reading Rainbow" star LeVar Burton and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“We knew early on that we wanted to divide the hosting responsibilities and it became very clear that Mike and Mayim were the undeniable choices,” Ahuja added. “They were both at the top of our research and analysis.”
Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, another guest host, will return to the show as a consulting producer.
The show's new season begins Sept. 13.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.