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Front Page Talking Points


Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

Picking a new host gets messy for 'Jeopardy!,' a popular TV game show


1.gifIs there an update on this mess? Summarize what's new.

2.gifShare two cool facts from any other entertainment coverage.

3.gifLook for a report on a celebrity you like and tell why he or she is in the news.

A 37-year-old TV classic is shaken as it scrambles to recover from an embarrassing slip. "Jeopardy!" aired months of guest-host tryouts before picking a replacement for Alex Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer in November after hosting the quiz show since 1984. The on-air auditions ended earlier this month with an announcement that Mike Richards, the show's executive producer, had landed the gig. Just nine days later, he stepped down because a reporter found offensive and sexist comments in 2013-14 podcasts called "The Randumb Show" and because of two lawsuits over allegedly inappropriate behavior while overseeing "The Price Is Right," another game show. "It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on 'Jeopardy!' as we look to start a new chapter," Richards told program employees. "Moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show."

Mayim Bialik, a sitcom star from "Big Bang Theory" who had been tapped to host prime-time "Jeopardy!" specials, becomes weeknight host temporarily as the search restarts (see video below). New episodes begin Sept. 13, starting with five taped by Richards, who remains the highest-ranking producer.

He drew critical attention even before the podcasts and lawsuits came to light. He helped oversee the search for Trebek's successor before Sony, the show's owner, picked him over fan favorites like the actor LeVar Burton. Richards had a key role in picking which footage of potential hosts was seen by test audiences that rated them. Other supervising producers reportedly were excluded from that process.

Mike Richards says: "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence." – Aug. 20 memo to show staff

Viewer says: "If it was enough to disqualify him from being host, why isn't it enough to disqualify him from being executive producer?" – Jon Porobil, Pittsburgh fan of the show

Columnist writes: "This tempest-in-a-TV set may not be hugely significant. But it does clearly show that the hallmarks of solid journalism — curiosity, digging, patience — prove their worth every time." – Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2021

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