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August 21, 2021

Jeopardy! FIRES Host After Only 1 Week For ABSURD Reason

TheQuartering [8/20/2021]

Apparently, he won’t be taking over!

According to TheNewYorkTimes:

Mike Richards’s first and, as it turned out, last day of filming as the host of “Jeopardy!” began with a gathering that executives at the long-running quiz show hoped would symbolize a fresh start.

In a taped ceremony on Thursday at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, Calif., Sony revealed that the “Jeopardy!” studio would be renamed for Alex Trebek, the beloved host who died last year. Mr. Richards smiled as cameras rolled and Mr. Trebek’s widow and children looked on.

Less than 24 hours later, Mr. Richards had quit his hosting gig, “Jeopardy!” production was placed on hold, and the show’s fans were struggling to understand how a television institution and staple of the American living room could have botched a succession plan after 37 years of stability and success.

Mr. Richards stepped down on Friday after revelations of offensive and sexist comments he made on a podcast several years ago, just nine days after Sony announced his new role with great fanfare. He wrote in a staff memo that “moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.”

“Jeopardy!”, which first aired in 1964, is supposed to be TV’s comfort food, an un-glitzy redoubt from politics and tribulations. Mr. Richards’s abrupt rise and fall plunged the show into the culture wars of 2021, subjecting it to intense debates, especially on social media, over questions of privilege, diversity and workplace culture.

The show’s “appeal is its reliability and timelessness,” said Ken Jennings, the former champion and a “Jeopardy!” consulting producer. “It’s one of the last pure things in a troubled age. And I hate that something pure like that has to be sullied by backstage drama.”

Sony said Mr. Richards would remain as executive producer. But he must contend with a dispirited “Jeopardy!” staff whose frustrations erupted in an emotional meeting on Thursday, where crew members told Mr. Richards his past behavior had imperiled the show’s reputation, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive internal discussions.

Mr. Richards was already facing a furor before this week. As the show’s executive producer, Mr. Richards helped oversee the search for Mr. Trebek’s replacement before Sony picked him over fan favorites like the actor LeVar Burton. Old lawsuits had revealed accusations of sexist behavior at his last job overseeing “The Price Is Right.” (He disputes the claims.)

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