Now who will be the new 'Jeopardy!' host?

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CNN 23 August, 2021 - 06:38am 5 views

Did Mike Richards step down as Jeopardy host?

But he lasted as the host of "Jeopardy!" for just one taping day. The producer-turned-host who positioned himself as Alex Trebek's rightful heir said Friday he has "stepped down," citing the controversy over "past incidents and comments." ... Sony's decision to cast Richards as host roiled the "Jeopardy!" fan community. WLS-TVNewly named 'Jeopardy!' host Mike Richards steps down amid outcry over podcast comments

Who is Mike Richards jeopardy?

Three-time Daytime Emmy® Award winner and 17-time nominee Mike Richards is executive producer of two of the most successful game shows of all time: "Wheel of Fortune" and Jeopardy! He joined the iconic syndicated stalwarts in 2020 after producing over 4,000 hours of game show programming. jeopardy.comMike Richards | Jeopardy.com

Why did Mike Richards resign?

Friday, Richards resigned after offensive past comments he made in podcasts emerged. AILSA CHANG, HOST: ... All of this comes after reporting from The Ringer, which revealed sexist and offensive comments that Richards had made while hosting a podcast years ago. NPRThis New 'Jeopardy!' Host Has Already Resigned: Who Is Mike Richards

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

Less than 24 hours later, 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 U.S. living room could have botched a succession plan after 37 years of stability and success.

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

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

Until Wednesday, it seemed like Richards and Sony had weathered the storm.

Then a report in The Ringer, by journalist Claire McNear, revealed a series of offensive comments Richards made on a podcast he once ran called “The Randumb Show.” In a 2013 episode, Richards joked about women who “dress like a hooker” on Halloween; in another episode, he called his female co-host a “booth slut” because she once worked as a model at a consumer show in Las Vegas. He described women who wear one-piece swimsuits as looking “really frumpy and overweight” and referred to stereotypes about Jews and large noses.

Richards, a stand-up comedian turned game show impresario, was serving as executive producer of “The Price Is Right” at the time he made the comments, which prompted the Anti-Defamation League to call for an investigation.

“I’m not quite sure he understands how hurtful and how problematic his past behavior was,” the league’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in an interview after Richards quit. “He didn’t apologize for the harm. He just apologized to his colleagues for causing unwanted negative attention and production delays.”

Richards’ podcast remarks also echoed some claims made against him in the “Price of Right” lawsuits, including allegations that he had balked when one of the show’s on-air models announced that she was pregnant with twins. According to the lawsuit, Richards put his face in his hands and told her, “Twins? Are you serious?”

The case was eventually settled. Richards said in a statement this month that the allegations do “not reflect the reality of who I am.”

Andy Saunders, who runs the website “The Jeopardy! Fan” and is a vocal online commentator about the show, said he was surprised that Richards would remain as the show’s executive producer.

“It feels like he doesn’t quite realize the gravity of his mistake and thinks that if he just stays behind the scenes, then everything will blow over,” Saunders said in an interview. He said Sony made a “massive mistake” by not properly vetting the new host and noted that Richards’ podcast was posted on the internet.

“Either they didn’t listen to it, or they did listen to it and didn’t think it was a problem — both of which would be major errors,” Saunders said.

At the taping Thursday in Culver City, Richards was joined by Anthony Vinciquerra, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s CEO, and Ravi Ahuja, its TV chairman. Two other contenders for Trebek’s job, former contestants Jennings and Buzzy Cohen, also came, expecting to attend Richards’ debut taping.

Instead, Cohen and Jennings were escorted from the soundstage to a nearby green room, where they watched the taping over a closed feed. They were told that Richards was too nervous to have them in the studio, according to three people familiar with the incident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

One of the people likened it to inviting Joe DiMaggio back to Yankee Stadium and then not letting him in the dugout.

Sony said access to the taping was restricted because of pandemic protocols limiting the number of people in the studio; Vinciquerra was not on the soundstage, either.

The search to replace Trebek, who hosted the show for 37 years, included a parade of guest hosts like Anderson Cooper, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Buck and others. One contender was virtually unknown to the audience: Richards, who started as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” last year.

Initially, Richards spoke dispassionately about the search, telling The New York Times in January that he wanted the show’s audience to weigh in on the selection and that the new host should not be merely doing an “impression of Alex.” He did not mention that he might also be in the running.

“I believe there will be pressure and stress on whoever that person is,” he said of the prospective new host.

Sony has said that Richards moved aside from the selection process after he emerged as a candidate; the ultimate decision was made by Vinciquerra. But as executive producer, Richards retained a key role in determining which tapes of prospective hosts would be screened for the focus groups that Sony was studying closely. Other supervising “Jeopardy!” producers were excluded from that process.

Richards’ selection had drawn particularly fierce objections from a legion of fans lobbying on social media for Burton, the longtime host of the PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow.” Burton was a guest host in July and had campaigned for the permanent role, saying he felt like he had been preparing his entire life to host “Jeopardy!” and that it would be a significant for a Black person to occupy the role for the first time. A representative for Burton declined to comment on Friday.

The show’s search will now start again with another series of guest hosts. Richards’ week of telecasts, including five episodes that he filmed Thursday, are set to air the week of Sept. 13. Mayim Bialik, the sitcom star, will remain as host of “Jeopardy!” prime-time specials.

On Friday, Sony said in a statement that it had been “surprised” to learn of Richards’ offensive podcast comments, but praised him for leading “Jeopardy!” in the wake of Trebek’s death. “It is our hope that as executive producer he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect,” Sony said.

The studio declined to comment beyond its prepared statement.

In his memo Friday, Richards wrote, “It pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on ‘Jeopardy!’ as we look to start a new chapter.”

He concluded, “I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence.”

© 2021 The New York Times Company

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Read full article at CNN

It's time for fans to demand the 'Jeopardy!' host we deserve

CNN 23 August, 2021 - 11:00pm

Updated 5:08 PM ET, Fri August 20, 2021

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Mike Richards Quits As 'Jeopardy!' Host After Backlash

Access 23 August, 2021 - 11:00pm

The exit has prompted many fans who initially pushed for the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor to host the show to have renewed hope that he may finally land the gig. One such fan is Reynolds, who likened Burton’s experience to how he scored the role of snarky superhero Deadpool.

— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 20, 2021

Reynolds new film Free Guy features a cameo by the late Trebek, who passed away of pancreatic cancer. The actor tweeted of the appearance, "Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle. He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will."

Burton, who previously hosted the PBS series Reading Rainbow, was asked to be one of the guest hosts on Jeopardy! due to fans' excitement. The show also featured stars like Aaron Rodgers and Robin Roberts as it sought to find a more permanent replacement following the death of the longtime host.

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Mike Richards has stepped down as host of "Jeopardy!" — a week after landing the job and just days after he apologized for offensive and sexist comments he made on a resurfaced podcast.

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Ryan Reynolds supports LeVar Burton to host 'Jeopardy!'

Big News Network 23 August, 2021 - 11:00pm

Washington [US], August 22 (ANI): Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds has thrown his support behind LeVar Burton's ongoing campaign to host 'Jeopardy!', following EP Mike Richards' exit from the podium.

According to Deadline, the actor, in an oblique fashion, on Friday posted a tweet, in which, he shared how he relates to Burton's experience, given the time he himself spent as an underdog, relentlessly pursuing his dream project 'Deadpool'.

"Pretty consistently from 2013 to 2015, Deadpool would explode on Twitter with fans wanting me to play him. It was awkward because I agreed with them. But the studio didn't see it. Ultimately, the fans won, and the rest is glorious history. I'm forever grateful. Hi @levarburton," he said.

Burton has been vying to host 'Jeopardy!' for years, most recently serving as one of a number of celebrity guest hosts, following the passing of longtime host Alex Trebek.

Richards was also among the guest hosts whose performance was assessed by Sony Pictures Television in their quest to find a new, permanent host.

While he entered talks to assume the mantle at the quiz show earlier this month, resulting difficulties saw him announce he would be stepping down from the role on August 20, after filming just one episode.

His downfall began with the surfacing of lawsuits from his time as an executive producer on 'The Price is Right', which alleged that he'd made insensitive comments toward, and otherwise discriminated against, models on the show.

The final nail in the proverbial coffin was a report that emerged in The Ringer, which resurfaced sexist or otherwise offensive remarks he'd made toward female co-hosts and guests on 'The Randumb Show', a podcast he hosted between 2013 and 2014.

Richards will continue to work on the series going forward in his role as executive producer.

Reynolds' comment on the 'Reading Rainbow' host's behalf comes as his Disney/20th Century Studios film 'Free Guy' continues to dominate the box office.

As per Deadline, others who have advocated for Burton to take over as host include actor and comedian Yvette Nicole Brown, writer and culture critic Roxane Gay, writer-director Eric Haywood, Blindspotting's Rafael Casal and 'SNL' alum Leslie Jones. (ANI)

Washington [US], August 22 (ANI): Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds has thrown his support behind LeVar Burton's ongoing campaign to host 'Jeopardy!', following EP Mike Richards' exit from the podium.

According to Deadline, the actor, in an oblique fashion, on Friday posted a tweet, in which, he shared how he relates to Burton's experience, given the time he himself spent as an underdog, relentlessly pursuing his dream project 'Deadpool'.

"Pretty consistently from 2013 to 2015, Deadpool would explode on Twitter with fans wanting me to play him. It was awkward because I agreed with them. But the studio didn't see it. Ultimately, the fans won, and the rest is glorious history. I'm forever grateful. Hi @levarburton," he said.

Burton has been vying to host 'Jeopardy!' for years, most recently serving as one of a number of celebrity guest hosts, following the passing of longtime host Alex Trebek.

Richards was also among the guest hosts whose performance was assessed by Sony Pictures Television in their quest to find a new, permanent host.

While he entered talks to assume the mantle at the quiz show earlier this month, resulting difficulties saw him announce he would be stepping down from the role on August 20, after filming just one episode.

His downfall began with the surfacing of lawsuits from his time as an executive producer on 'The Price is Right', which alleged that he'd made insensitive comments toward, and otherwise discriminated against, models on the show.

The final nail in the proverbial coffin was a report that emerged in The Ringer, which resurfaced sexist or otherwise offensive remarks he'd made toward female co-hosts and guests on 'The Randumb Show', a podcast he hosted between 2013 and 2014.

Richards will continue to work on the series going forward in his role as executive producer.

Reynolds' comment on the 'Reading Rainbow' host's behalf comes as his Disney/20th Century Studios film 'Free Guy' continues to dominate the box office.

As per Deadline, others who have advocated for Burton to take over as host include actor and comedian Yvette Nicole Brown, writer and culture critic Roxane Gay, writer-director Eric Haywood, Blindspotting's Rafael Casal and 'SNL' alum Leslie Jones. (ANI)

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'Jeopardy': Mike Richards Taped A Week's Worth Of Episodes Before Exit – Report

International Business Times 23 August, 2021 - 11:00pm

Mike Richards will still appear in the upcoming season of "Jeopardy" despite his exit, a report says.

Richards officially stepped down as the host of "Jeopardy" Friday after apologizing for recently unearthed offensive and sexist remarks he made on a podcast. However, prior to the announcement, the "Jeopardy" executive producer had already filmed a week's worth of episodes as host, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Despite his departure from the hosting job, the episodes Richards filmed will air as planned starting Sept. 13, which serves as the first week of Season 38. He served as host for only one day of production before he left the role, the outlet noted.

Two unnamed sources told The New York Times in a story published Friday that "frustrations erupted in an emotional meeting on Thursday, where crew members told Mr. Richards his past behavior had imperiled the show's reputation."

The following day, Richards announced his exit from the 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," he wrote in a memo to the staff obtained by EW. 

He continued, "Over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately. As a result, we will be canceling production today."

Due to Richards' exit, "Jeopardy" will once again have a rotating lineup of guest hosts as Sony searches for a new permanent host. It is currently unclear who will serve as hosts for the rest of the episodes in the new season.

A number of "Jeopardy" fans, including celebrities, have been rooting for actor LeVar Burton to get the hosting gig, which was held by Alex Trebek for 37 years before he died in November 2020 due to pancreatic cancer.

Ryan Reynolds also showed support for Burton's Twitter campaign for the job with a brief anecdote about how he landed his role in "Deadpool."

"Pretty consistently from 2013 to 2015, Deadpool would explode on Twitter with fans wanting me to play him. It was awkward, because I agreed with them. But the studio didn’t see it," he tweeted. "Ultimately, the fans won, and the rest is glorious history. I’m forever grateful. Hi @levarburton."

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden tweeted, "We want LeVar Burton to host 'Jeopardy' for the same reason we venerate Bob Ross and Mr. Rogers, and the same reason the show 'Ted Lasso' is so popular. Our culture yearns for, and desperately needs, men who are kind and gentle, and who will teach that by example."

Mike Richards Steps Down As 'Jeopardy!' Host Amid Scrutiny

CNBC Television 23 August, 2021 - 11:00pm

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