Jeopardy! executive producer (and onetime guest host) Mike Richards might be stepping behind Alex Trebek's lectern for good. Variety reports that Richards is in "advanced negotiations" with Sony Pictures Television to helm the game show permanently.
A rep for Sony Pictures told Variety that several candidates were in talks and did not comment on Richards' status. A source, however, stated that, while other possibilities for the host gig remain, Richards is the number-one candidate.
Richards previously hosted game shows Divided and Pyramid and reality shows The Beauty and the Geek and High School Reunion. He joined The Price is Right as a co-EP in 2008, ascending to EP status in 2009; he also produced, and assisted in selling, the Let's Make a Deal revival to CBS. Among the more than 4,000 hours of game shows that he's produced are ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire celebrity specials.