FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 30, 2021
Is there an update on this mess? Summarize what's new.
Share two cool facts from any other entertainment coverage.
Look 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
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