Less than two weeks after he stepped down as the host of "Jeopardy!'" Mike Richards will no longer serve as the long-running game show's executive producer, Sony Pictures Television announced Tuesday.
Richards, who stepped down as the host of the daily syndicated program a little over a week after he was given the role, will also no longer serve as the executive producer of Wheel of Fortune "effective immediately," according to a note sent to "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" staff.
"I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately," Suzanne Prete, executive vice president of business and strategy for “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!”, wrote in the note.
"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," Prete continued. "That clearly has not happened."
"Michael Davies from Embassy Row has agreed to help with production on an interim basis until further notice," she added. "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."
Richards had signed an overall development deal with Sony in 2019, and became executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” in May 2020.
Richards was named the host of the daily syndicated program on Aug. 11 after a long search following the passing of longtime host Alex Trebek, who died last year after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
He quickly became controversial when he went from behind-the-scenes to Sony’s pick for host of “Jeopardy!″ — even before his 2013-14 podcast comments demeaning women and making stereotypical comments about Asian, Jews and others surfaced.
Richards' announcement came in the wake of a report from The Ringer which resurfaced comments he made on "The Randumb Show," a podcast he hosted in 2013 and 2014.
Claire McNear, who recently authored a book about "Jeopardy!", detailed in her article for The Ringer that Richards "repeatedly used offensive language and disparaged women's bodies."
Anointing Richards as successor to the admired Alex Trebek was a questionable choice to some, especially after the studio had conducted a splashy search that included actors, sports figures, journalists — and Richards.
The show rotated through a number of guest hosts after 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.
Questions were raised about whether Richards had put his finger on the scale in favor of himself, and whether he had the gravitas that was seen in other candidates, such as fan favorite Burton.
Richards taped one week's worth of shows in one day of filming before stepping down as as host, according to the New York Times. Former "Big Bang Theory" and "Blossom" star Mayim Bialik, who was tapped to host "Jeopardy!" primetime specials, will step in as the show's first guest host as Sony Pictures Television searches for a new permanent host.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.