This Is Why "Jeopardy!" Fans Are Calling for Mayim Bialik to Be Fired, Too

Entertainment

Best Life 22 August, 2021 - 01:51pm 8 views

The Chicago Bears were dealt a 41-15 defeat by the Buffalo Bills in their second preseason game, where there were certainly concerns raised by Chicago’s performance.

While that’s the case, there were also a handful of players who had impressive outings against the Bills, including some familiar names and some under-the-radar players.

Following Chicago’s preseason loss to Buffalo, here are nine Bears who made a positive impression in Week 2.

Rodney Adams continues to take advantage of his opportunities this summer, where his success during training camp has translated to the preseason. He just keeps making plays. For the second straight game, Adams has led the Bears in receiving (89 yards on 3 catches vs. Bills) and made an impact play that moved the chains. At this point, it’s hard to argue against considering him for one of those final wide receiver roster spots.

The Bears have a ton of depth on the defensive line, although there aren’t roster spots for all of them, which is certainly a good problem to have. One of the big standouts has been seventh-round rookie Khyiris Tonga, who was a force in Saturday’s loss against the Bills, showcasing his ability to stop the run and to provide interior pass rush. Although this was nothing new, as he’d done the same against the Dolphins the week before. There’s a lot of potential for Tonga moving forward, where he’ll continue to learn from one of the best in Eddie Goldman and defensive line coach Chris Rumph.

Justin Fields had an up-and-down day, but he was still a standout player for the Bears. It’s impossible for him not to be. While Fields’ stats as a passer were nothing special — 9-of-19 for 80 yards — there was more to the story, including several big drops and a porous offensive line. Fields showcased how his mobility can help counter a struggling offensive line, using his legs to evade the pass rush and make things happen out of nothing. Fields finished with four rushes for 46 yards. It’s clear Fields is the better quarterback between him and Andy Dalton, although Matt Nagy isn’t loosening his stance on Dalton being the Week 1 starter.

Jesse James was a nice surprise that kind of fell right into the laps of the Bears. James has quickly climbed the ranks on the depth chart, holding strong was the No. 3 tight end, where he’s a solid blocker and threat in the passing game. James connection with Fields flashed once again, where he made a beautiful diving grab for 32-yards, which set the Bears up in the red zone. James, who had 4 catches for 54 yards, continues to establish himself as a solid option at tight end, and it’s a safe bet to assume he’s going to lock up a roster sot.

Rookie running back Khalil Herbert continues to impress during the preseason, where he could certainly make a push to surpass Damien Williams as RB2. Herbert, who finished with 15 yards on 3 carries, scored the Bears second and final touchdown on a 13-yard run up the middle. Herbert also made an impression in the return game, where he returned 4 kickoffs for 75 yards, averaging 18.8 yards per return. Herbert is someone who can no doubt contribute immediately as a rookie both on offense and special teams.

The Bears are expecting big things from second-year edge rusher Trevis Gipson, who made the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker as a rookie. Gipson has been a standout player in training camp, and it’s been translating to preseason. Gipson came up big Saturday against the Bills with a strip-sack of quarterback Davis Webb. With the uncertainty surrounding Robert Quinn, Gipson and Jeremiah Attaochu are expected to see plenty of action this season.

The name of the game for the defense is getting takeaways, which is something linebacker Caleb Johnson accomplished twice agains the Bills, recovering two fumbles. It’s the second straight week where Johnson has made his presence known. Last week against the Dolphins, he had a couple of tackles-for-loss and a pass breakup. It’s a shame the Bears have so much depth at inside linebacker that someone like Johnson doesn’t stand a good chance of making the 53-man roster. But he’s definitely a candidate for the practice squad.

Two years ago, the Bears didn’t have a kicker. Now, they have two. Obviously Cairo Santos is going to be the guy moving forward, but undrafted rookie Brian Johnson has certainly been making a name for himself this summer. Johnson connected from 54 yards on Chicago’s only field goal attempt, and he’s now made all three of his field goals in preseason. Johnson is putting together a nice resume for a team that might be in need of a kicker. Otherwise, the Bears would do well to sign him to the practice squad.

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The 'Deadpool' Effect! Ryan Reynolds Supports LeVar Burton as 'Jeopardy' Host

Us Weekly 22 August, 2021 - 05:33pm

“Pretty consistently from 2013 to 2015 Deadpool would explode on Twitter with fans wanting me to play him,” Reynolds, 44, tweeted on Friday, August 20. “It was awkward because I agreed with them but the studio didn’t see it.”

At that point, the Proposal star already played a silent version of Deadpool/Wade Wilson in 2009’s critically panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, fans (and a leaked test video) won over the studio. Reynolds starred as the merc with a mouth in 2016’s Deadpool and 2018’s Deadpool 2, which are two of the three highest-grossing R-rated films of all time.

“Ultimately the fans won and the rest is glorious history,” the actor, who shares three daughters with wife Blake Lively, tweeted. “I’m forever grateful. Hi @levarburton.”

Reynolds appeared in one of the late Alex Trebek’s final episodes of Jeopardy! in November 2020. The host also makes a cameo in the actor’s new movie, Free Guy.

“We shot that separately, actually after the film had been completely done and dusted and completed,” the Canadian actor told E!’s Daily Pop earlier this month. “Alex was kind enough to jump in and do this little cameo for us. I was just so blown away by how sweet he was to do that.”

The search for Trebek’s successor has been long and controversial. Since the host died after battling pancreatic cancer last November, Jeopardy! has been looking for a new host. Richards, an executive producer, was announced as Trebek’s replacement last week, but the 46-year-old stepped down on Friday. A New York Times investigation revealed that Richards hand-picked the episodes focus groups watched to determine the new host, and an expose from The Ringer resurfaced insensitive comments and sexist remarks.

The search for a replacement will continue, though actress Mayim Bialik is still set to host the competition specials.

While some guests hosts made it clear they weren’t vying to actually replace Trebek, Burton, 64, noted that he was indeed hoping to be the new face behind the podium. He told USA Today in July that if he didn’t get the gig, he’d be sad.

“I’ll be disappointed, and I will move on with my life. That’s the nature of having an opportunity to mature in life is that your past experience informs the present, as well as your future,” he said at the time. “I am a firm believer in it’s not what happens to you in life that determines who you are, it’s what you do with what happens. So I know that whatever the outcome is, it’s the perfect outcome for me. I will be perfectly OK. I will embrace whatever that outcome is.”

Richards remains an executive producer on Jeopardy.

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The 'Deadpool' Effect! Ryan Reynolds Supports LeVar Burton as 'Jeopardy' Host

Daily Mail 22 August, 2021 - 05:33pm

“Pretty consistently from 2013 to 2015 Deadpool would explode on Twitter with fans wanting me to play him,” Reynolds, 44, tweeted on Friday, August 20. “It was awkward because I agreed with them but the studio didn’t see it.”

At that point, the Proposal star already played a silent version of Deadpool/Wade Wilson in 2009’s critically panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However, fans (and a leaked test video) won over the studio. Reynolds starred as the merc with a mouth in 2016’s Deadpool and 2018’s Deadpool 2, which are two of the three highest-grossing R-rated films of all time.

“Ultimately the fans won and the rest is glorious history,” the actor, who shares three daughters with wife Blake Lively, tweeted. “I’m forever grateful. Hi @levarburton.”

Reynolds appeared in one of the late Alex Trebek’s final episodes of Jeopardy! in November 2020. The host also makes a cameo in the actor’s new movie, Free Guy.

“We shot that separately, actually after the film had been completely done and dusted and completed,” the Canadian actor told E!’s Daily Pop earlier this month. “Alex was kind enough to jump in and do this little cameo for us. I was just so blown away by how sweet he was to do that.”

The search for Trebek’s successor has been long and controversial. Since the host died after battling pancreatic cancer last November, Jeopardy! has been looking for a new host. Richards, an executive producer, was announced as Trebek’s replacement last week, but the 46-year-old stepped down on Friday. A New York Times investigation revealed that Richards hand-picked the episodes focus groups watched to determine the new host, and an expose from The Ringer resurfaced insensitive comments and sexist remarks.

The search for a replacement will continue, though actress Mayim Bialik is still set to host the competition specials.

While some guests hosts made it clear they weren’t vying to actually replace Trebek, Burton, 64, noted that he was indeed hoping to be the new face behind the podium. He told USA Today in July that if he didn’t get the gig, he’d be sad.

“I’ll be disappointed, and I will move on with my life. That’s the nature of having an opportunity to mature in life is that your past experience informs the present, as well as your future,” he said at the time. “I am a firm believer in it’s not what happens to you in life that determines who you are, it’s what you do with what happens. So I know that whatever the outcome is, it’s the perfect outcome for me. I will be perfectly OK. I will embrace whatever that outcome is.”

Richards remains an executive producer on Jeopardy.

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Mike Richards' 'Price Is Right' Audition Leaks Amidst 'Jeopardy!' Exit

PopCulture.com 22 August, 2021 - 04:19pm

Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards had been dreaming of hosting a game show for years, and first had his sights set on The Price Is Right. Before he became the executive producer of the beloved daytime game show, he auditioned to replace Bob Barker, a legend as beloved as Alex Trebek, in 2007. That audition tape finally leaked on YouTube on Friday, the day after Richards dropped out of hosting Jeopardy!.

The audition tape runs just over 18 minutes and begins with the show's filming date, March 12, 2007, several months before Drew Carey made his debut as Barker's successor. The video is a fully produced Price Is Right episode, covering the first half of the show. We get to see how Richards would have interacted with contestants and even how he would recite the rules to Plinko. It's not clear who posted the video, but it is an interesting look at an alternate universe.

After Richards didn't get the job, he stayed on at The Price Is Right. In August 2008, Variety reported he was hired as co-executive producer for the show as part of its "efforts to attract a younger audience." Richards, who previously hosted Beauty and the Geek and produced Weakest Link, remained at The Price is Right through the 2018-2019 TV season. Afterward, Sony Pictures Television hired him to replace the retiring Harry Friedman as executive producer of both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.

After Variety reported that Richards was in talks to become the permanent replacement for Trebek after a season full of guest hosts, Richards' tenure at The Price Is Right came under scrutiny. First, the lawsuits involving models came to light. In one case, model Lanisha Cole claimed she was wrongfully terminated and often humiliated during Richards' tenure. The case was eventually settled in 2013, with Richards dismissed as a defendant before the settlement was reached. In another lawsuit, Richards was accused of making disparaging remarks about pregnant women.

Richards next addressed the allegations in a memo to Jeopardy! staffers. "These were allegations made in employment disputes against the show," he wrote in part. "I want you all to know that the way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price is Right. I know firsthand how special it is to be a parent. It is the most important thing in the world to me. I would not say anything to disrespect anyone’s pregnancy and have always supported my colleagues on their parenting journeys."

Despite this situation, Sony still named Richards the next permanent host for Jeopardy! on Aug. 11, with actress Mayim Bialik hosting primetime specials. Then on Aug. 18, The Ringer journalist Claire McNear published an expose on Richards' offensive comments during The Randumb Show, a podcast he hosted from 2013 to 2014 that was meant to focus on The Price Is Right production. Richards apologized for these comments as well, and the podcast was taken offline.

On Aug. 20, Richards and Sony announced he would no longer be hosting Jeopardy! and a new round of guest hosts will take over next season. Richards filmed five episodes before The Ringer's report was published, and those will still air in September. Richards will remain executive producer for the time being.

Entertainment Tonight. Copyright 2021 PopCulture.com. All rights reserved.

After Mike Richards leaves ‘Jeopardy!’ Ryan Reynolds shares hilarious tweet supporting LeVar Burton as host

Fox News 22 August, 2021 - 02:44pm

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Ryan Reynolds made a not-so-subtle push for LeVar Burton to be the next host of "Jeopardy!" following Mike Richards’ exit. 

Richards, who was announced just last week as being the new permanent host of the popular game show alongside Mayim Bialik, stepped down from the position after inappropriate comments he previously made on a podcast resurfaced and sparked controversy

Now, as the show scrambles once again to find a replacement for Alex Trebek, who died in November of 2020 after a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Reynolds seemingly took to Twitter to throw his support behind fan-favorite, Burton.  

Pretending it was apropo of nothing, Reynolds took to Twitter and recalled a time in his career when he was favored to be the first person to bring a comic-book-accurate version of the Marvel character "Deadpool" to the big screen, long before his immensely successful 2016 debut. However, by shouting out Burton at the end of the tweet, he clearly meant to liken the situation to the push for Burton to be the new host.

Burton responded with two praying hands emojis and a heart, but did not elaborate further. However, the "Reading Rainbow" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" actor has long been a fan-favorite to become the new man behind the podium. In fact, a fan petition was signed by more than 257,000 people requesting he be the man to fill the massive shoes left behind by Trebek after he died in November of 2020. 

Burton addressed the push for fans to make him the new host several times before he was selected as one of the many guest hosts for the trivia show ahead of Richards being announced as the new permanent replacement. However, now all that is up in the air as the "Jeopardy!" executive producer stepped down Friday

"Dear Team - 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 statement released by Sony.

"As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role," he shared. "However, 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."

"SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host," he continued. "In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week."

"I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing," Richards concluded. "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."

The news comes after Richards, 46, apologized for past comments he made while hosting "The Randumb Show" from 2013 to 2014. He was also working at "The Price is Right" at the time.

Sony officials told Fox News on Friday that they "support Mike’s decision to step down as host."

"We were surprised this week to learn of Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past.  We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward," Sony said in a statement. "Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the Jeopardy! team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect." 

In a statement issued to Fox News earlier this week, Richards apologized for his past attempts at being "provocative" and vowed to do better in the future. 

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After Mike Richards leaves ‘Jeopardy!’ Ryan Reynolds shares hilarious tweet supporting LeVar Burton as host

ETCanada.com 22 August, 2021 - 02:44pm

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Factset. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Legal Statement. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper.

Fox News Flash top entertainment and celebrity headlines are here. Check out what's clicking today in entertainment.

Ryan Reynolds made a not-so-subtle push for LeVar Burton to be the next host of "Jeopardy!" following Mike Richards’ exit. 

Richards, who was announced just last week as being the new permanent host of the popular game show alongside Mayim Bialik, stepped down from the position after inappropriate comments he previously made on a podcast resurfaced and sparked controversy

Now, as the show scrambles once again to find a replacement for Alex Trebek, who died in November of 2020 after a lengthy battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Reynolds seemingly took to Twitter to throw his support behind fan-favorite, Burton.  

Pretending it was apropo of nothing, Reynolds took to Twitter and recalled a time in his career when he was favored to be the first person to bring a comic-book-accurate version of the Marvel character "Deadpool" to the big screen, long before his immensely successful 2016 debut. However, by shouting out Burton at the end of the tweet, he clearly meant to liken the situation to the push for Burton to be the new host.

Burton responded with two praying hands emojis and a heart, but did not elaborate further. However, the "Reading Rainbow" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" actor has long been a fan-favorite to become the new man behind the podium. In fact, a fan petition was signed by more than 257,000 people requesting he be the man to fill the massive shoes left behind by Trebek after he died in November of 2020. 

Burton addressed the push for fans to make him the new host several times before he was selected as one of the many guest hosts for the trivia show ahead of Richards being announced as the new permanent replacement. However, now all that is up in the air as the "Jeopardy!" executive producer stepped down Friday

"Dear Team - 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 statement released by Sony.

"As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role," he shared. "However, 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."

"SPT will now resume the search for a permanent syndicated host," he continued. "In the meantime, we will be bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season, details of which will be announced next week."

"I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing," Richards concluded. "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."

The news comes after Richards, 46, apologized for past comments he made while hosting "The Randumb Show" from 2013 to 2014. He was also working at "The Price is Right" at the time.

Sony officials told Fox News on Friday that they "support Mike’s decision to step down as host."

"We were surprised this week to learn of Mike’s 2013/2014 podcast and the offensive language he used in the past.  We have spoken with him about our concerns and our expectations moving forward," Sony said in a statement. "Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the Jeopardy! team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced. It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect." 

In a statement issued to Fox News earlier this week, Richards apologized for his past attempts at being "provocative" and vowed to do better in the future. 

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Factset. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Legal Statement. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper.

"Jeopardy!" fans, LeVar Burton still might not have a chance – or may not want one anymore

Salon 22 August, 2021 - 10:30am

On Friday the "Jeopardy!" executive producer who helped conduct an extensive, months-long and like, totally serious, you guys search for a new permanent host before handing himself the job, announced his decision to relinquish it.

Richards' self-selection as the late Alex Trebek's replacement was met with widespread consternation and led to reporters digging up several gender discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits in which he was named, filed by models for "The Price Is Right," on which he served a producer. Richards resolved to soldier on nevertheless, and "Jeopardy!" production studio Sony Pictures Television supported him.

Then The Ringer unearthed an old podcast of Richards' in which he made antisemitic, sexist, racist and fat-phobic jokes. Ignoring past legal documents is one thing. But when the public can hear the same voice that calls the hallowed categories on the "Jeopardy!" board saying in pig Latin, "Ix-nay on the ose-nay . . . She's not an ew-Jay" while referring to someone's large nose, that's a jackass of a different color. That brought the Anti-Defamation League all up in the show's business.

There was only one thing Richards could do, albeit halfway. He quit the hosting gig. As of Friday, he was still the show's executive producer.

"I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to 'Jeopardy!' over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing," Richards kinda sorta-mea culpa'd in an official statement. "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."

The statement added that Sony Pictures Television intends to resume the search for a permanent syndicated host, bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season. Richards filmed one week's worth of episodes, which will air.

At any rate, there was great joy on the socials. With loud shrieks written in all caps, unclean spirits tweeted their way out of those who were possessed. Many of the paralyzed and lame on OnlyFans were healed. 

It may seem that with Richards exiled from the podium, Sony could reconsider how badly they botched this transition from a public perception point of view. By making those initial guest host "tryouts" a show without no real purpose or weight behind most of them raised the profile of a show most people watch only occasionally.

Now, theoretically, they get a second shot to repair this mess.

Along those lines, people immediately resumed campaigning for internet favorite LeVar Burton to get a second shot, given less-than-ideal circumstances surrounding his one and only tryout date. ("Jeopardy!" shoots five shows in a single day, you see. Most of the guest hosts received the benefit of two dates; Burton and the contenders who came after him, as well as Robin Roberts, only received one.)

That would be splendid, right? Actually, no, and not just because it's probably not going to happen. Indeed, it shouldn't happen.

No offense to Burton, by the way. Despite his guest host slip-ups and shaky performance, he'd still be wonderful at the "Jeopardy!" helm. If Sony execs wanted him, they'd give him all the coaching he would need to succeed. He's an award-winning actor, after all. Of course he can do this.

But Sony never wanted Burton. They never wanted Robin Roberts, either. The late Alex Trebek mentioned CNN legal analyst Laura Coates as one of his two choices to succeed him. You'll notice that she never made any of Sony's lists, either. A likely excuse, if they even knew about Coates, let alone considered her, is that producers might have suspected that too many people would say to themselves, "Who is Laura Coates?"

But when the nation collectively asked that about Mike Richards, they had plenty of faith that we'd eventually find out. They were right! We did.

My guess is they never wanted a person of color. They barely wanted a woman. Mayim Bialik may have clinched the primetime and specials hosting gig – which, according to Newsweek, also upset some fans – but from the time that was announced it seemed like a consolation hire.

This is said with full acknowledgment that Bialik gave a splendid guest host performance. But given the fact that she was one of four women out of a list of 16, and the other three are newscasters, it was obvious what Sony wanted and for the time being, still wants: another white guy.

If that weren't true, Richards wouldn't still be serving as executive producer of "Jeopardy!" with Sony's blessing, backed by their Sen. Susan Collins-flavored assurance that he's learned his lesson. "Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the 'Jeopardy!' team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced," its official statement reads. "It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect."

But if you were a woman or a person of color, would you take that on faith? Would you trust your job to the guy who originally wanted it, had it, and then was forced to give it up due to bad press?

Too many cautionary tales are floating around in the entertainment industry – or, heck, on Glassdoor or Reddit – about how such scenarios doomed the suckers invited to such Elysian Fields only to be presented with a cliff.

In fact, a subplot in Netflix's new limited series "The Chair"  tells one such story. In it, a patriarchal white dean makes a show of ceding a prestigious position to a woman of color while ensuring she never has real decision-making power or a prayer of succeeding at her job.

Obligatory spoiler warning: if you haven't watched this show, stop reading right now and go watch. It's only around three hours long and worth your time.  If you keep reading a rather significant but highly relevant surprise will be blown for you.

In "The Chair"  Sandra Oh plays Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the first woman to chair the English department at her University. Paul Larson (David Morse), who is her boss and the school's dean, loves to show her off at hoity-toity events. Behind the scenes he thwarts her efforts to gain tenure for a popular Black professor, Yasmin McKay (Nana Mensah). Ji-Yoon's warns him that Yaz is in high demand in their field, but the dean simply doesn't care.

Granted, Ji-Yoon makes a few significant mistakes in an effort to enact diplomacy, including imposing an overtly envious older professor Elliot Rentz (Bob Balaban) upon Yaz in order to boost his ailing class registration numbers. Ji-Yoon does this as a favor to Elliot, expecting him to give Yaz a glowing recommendation. Instead, he drags down Yaz's lectures and harpoons her performance in his evaluation.

None of this compares to Dean Larson's final insult to Yaz's skills and intelligence. To ease the sting of Elliot stealing Yaz's shine, Ji-Yoon names her as the college's Distinguished Lecturer. Dean Larson casually snatches away the honor at the behest of a major benefactor – an elderly white woman who merrily announces that she's found a more suitable choice for Distinguished Lecturer while she was out shopping.

And it is none other than . . . David Duchovny.

Yes, the actor is playing himself. Duchovny actually is a best-selling author. He also meets Ji-Yoon in his swimming trunks and generally comes off as a self-important boob. The "X-Files" star views his casual sojourn into academia as being on par with touring the country with his rock band or filming a movie. He proposes dusting off a paper he never defended and handing it in so he can finally get that doctorate he never got around to completing, as if he were filling out a credit card form.

Ji-Yoon is appalled. Dean Larson is unmoved. And although the chair finds a way to ameliorate the situation, her relationship with Yaz is damaged beyond repair. All because at an important crossroads, a patriarchal institution decided that the feelings of a couple of status quo white people were of greater worth than one woman of color's potential and abilities, to the point of negating another woman of color's political power.

So yeah: About that whole business of Richards keeping his executive producer bag. It's not a great situation into which any outsider should willingly enter. Certainly not a non-white person. Even alternate frontrunner "Jeopardy!" GOAT Ken Jennings and fellow champion Buzzy Cohen should be wary. But if a few industry insider predictions prove to be accurate, Richards' executive producer title may also be, shall we say, in a transitional phase.

That said, the American public has a habit of forgetting what men behind the camera did and may continue to do without millions of eyes on them, especially after the headlines die down. Joining Richards' clubhouse may be simpler for Jennings and Cohen, and choosing one of them or someone like them may be sufficient for Sony to keep "Jeopardy!" chugging along and bring its elderly-skewing audience with it.

Meanwhile, somewhere out there is a smart producer who may see what "Jeopardy!" didn't in Burton or Coates or someone else denied a fair shake by Richards and executives like him. Imagine what could be possible if that person were to create a general knowledge competition built to attract a modern, intellectually curious viewership while casting an eye toward the future.

That's a story I hope someone is bold enough to write with someone like Burton, Roberts or Coates steering it. But it won't find an audience within an unnecessarily bruised institution too stubborn to part ways with the "team player" who damaged it.

Melanie McFarland is Salon's TV critic. Follow her on Twitter: @McTelevision

"Jeopardy!" fans, LeVar Burton still might not have a chance – or may not want one anymore

Consequence 22 August, 2021 - 10:30am

On Friday the "Jeopardy!" executive producer who helped conduct an extensive, months-long and like, totally serious, you guys search for a new permanent host before handing himself the job, announced his decision to relinquish it.

Richards' self-selection as the late Alex Trebek's replacement was met with widespread consternation and led to reporters digging up several gender discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits in which he was named, filed by models for "The Price Is Right," on which he served a producer. Richards resolved to soldier on nevertheless, and "Jeopardy!" production studio Sony Pictures Television supported him.

Then The Ringer unearthed an old podcast of Richards' in which he made antisemitic, sexist, racist and fat-phobic jokes. Ignoring past legal documents is one thing. But when the public can hear the same voice that calls the hallowed categories on the "Jeopardy!" board saying in pig Latin, "Ix-nay on the ose-nay . . . She's not an ew-Jay" while referring to someone's large nose, that's a jackass of a different color. That brought the Anti-Defamation League all up in the show's business.

There was only one thing Richards could do, albeit halfway. He quit the hosting gig. As of Friday, he was still the show's executive producer.

"I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to 'Jeopardy!' over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing," Richards kinda sorta-mea culpa'd in an official statement. "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."

The statement added that Sony Pictures Television intends to resume the search for a permanent syndicated host, bringing back guest hosts to continue production for the new season. Richards filmed one week's worth of episodes, which will air.

At any rate, there was great joy on the socials. With loud shrieks written in all caps, unclean spirits tweeted their way out of those who were possessed. Many of the paralyzed and lame on OnlyFans were healed. 

It may seem that with Richards exiled from the podium, Sony could reconsider how badly they botched this transition from a public perception point of view. By making those initial guest host "tryouts" a show without no real purpose or weight behind most of them raised the profile of a show most people watch only occasionally.

Now, theoretically, they get a second shot to repair this mess.

Along those lines, people immediately resumed campaigning for internet favorite LeVar Burton to get a second shot, given less-than-ideal circumstances surrounding his one and only tryout date. ("Jeopardy!" shoots five shows in a single day, you see. Most of the guest hosts received the benefit of two dates; Burton and the contenders who came after him, as well as Robin Roberts, only received one.)

That would be splendid, right? Actually, no, and not just because it's probably not going to happen. Indeed, it shouldn't happen.

No offense to Burton, by the way. Despite his guest host slip-ups and shaky performance, he'd still be wonderful at the "Jeopardy!" helm. If Sony execs wanted him, they'd give him all the coaching he would need to succeed. He's an award-winning actor, after all. Of course he can do this.

But Sony never wanted Burton. They never wanted Robin Roberts, either. The late Alex Trebek mentioned CNN legal analyst Laura Coates as one of his two choices to succeed him. You'll notice that she never made any of Sony's lists, either. A likely excuse, if they even knew about Coates, let alone considered her, is that producers might have suspected that too many people would say to themselves, "Who is Laura Coates?"

But when the nation collectively asked that about Mike Richards, they had plenty of faith that we'd eventually find out. They were right! We did.

My guess is they never wanted a person of color. They barely wanted a woman. Mayim Bialik may have clinched the primetime and specials hosting gig – which, according to Newsweek, also upset some fans – but from the time that was announced it seemed like a consolation hire.

This is said with full acknowledgment that Bialik gave a splendid guest host performance. But given the fact that she was one of four women out of a list of 16, and the other three are newscasters, it was obvious what Sony wanted and for the time being, still wants: another white guy.

If that weren't true, Richards wouldn't still be serving as executive producer of "Jeopardy!" with Sony's blessing, backed by their Sen. Susan Collins-flavored assurance that he's learned his lesson. "Mike has been with us for the last two years and has led the 'Jeopardy!' team through the most challenging time the show has ever experienced," its official statement reads. "It is our hope that as EP he will continue to do so with professionalism and respect."

But if you were a woman or a person of color, would you take that on faith? Would you trust your job to the guy who originally wanted it, had it, and then was forced to give it up due to bad press?

Too many cautionary tales are floating around in the entertainment industry – or, heck, on Glassdoor or Reddit – about how such scenarios doomed the suckers invited to such Elysian Fields only to be presented with a cliff.

In fact, a subplot in Netflix's new limited series "The Chair"  tells one such story. In it, a patriarchal white dean makes a show of ceding a prestigious position to a woman of color while ensuring she never has real decision-making power or a prayer of succeeding at her job.

Obligatory spoiler warning: if you haven't watched this show, stop reading right now and go watch. It's only around three hours long and worth your time.  If you keep reading a rather significant but highly relevant surprise will be blown for you.

In "The Chair"  Sandra Oh plays Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the first woman to chair the English department at her University. Paul Larson (David Morse), who is her boss and the school's dean, loves to show her off at hoity-toity events. Behind the scenes he thwarts her efforts to gain tenure for a popular Black professor, Yasmin McKay (Nana Mensah). Ji-Yoon's warns him that Yaz is in high demand in their field, but the dean simply doesn't care.

Granted, Ji-Yoon makes a few significant mistakes in an effort to enact diplomacy, including imposing an overtly envious older professor Elliot Rentz (Bob Balaban) upon Yaz in order to boost his ailing class registration numbers. Ji-Yoon does this as a favor to Elliot, expecting him to give Yaz a glowing recommendation. Instead, he drags down Yaz's lectures and harpoons her performance in his evaluation.

None of this compares to Dean Larson's final insult to Yaz's skills and intelligence. To ease the sting of Elliot stealing Yaz's shine, Ji-Yoon names her as the college's Distinguished Lecturer. Dean Larson casually snatches away the honor at the behest of a major benefactor – an elderly white woman who merrily announces that she's found a more suitable choice for Distinguished Lecturer while she was out shopping.

And it is none other than . . . David Duchovny.

Yes, the actor is playing himself. Duchovny actually is a best-selling author. He also meets Ji-Yoon in his swimming trunks and generally comes off as a self-important boob. The "X-Files" star views his casual sojourn into academia as being on par with touring the country with his rock band or filming a movie. He proposes dusting off a paper he never defended and handing it in so he can finally get that doctorate he never got around to completing, as if he were filling out a credit card form.

Ji-Yoon is appalled. Dean Larson is unmoved. And although the chair finds a way to ameliorate the situation, her relationship with Yaz is damaged beyond repair. All because at an important crossroads, a patriarchal institution decided that the feelings of a couple of status quo white people were of greater worth than one woman of color's potential and abilities, to the point of negating another woman of color's political power.

So yeah: About that whole business of Richards keeping his executive producer bag. It's not a great situation into which any outsider should willingly enter. Certainly not a non-white person. Even alternate frontrunner "Jeopardy!" GOAT Ken Jennings and fellow champion Buzzy Cohen should be wary. But if a few industry insider predictions prove to be accurate, Richards' executive producer title may also be, shall we say, in a transitional phase.

That said, the American public has a habit of forgetting what men behind the camera did and may continue to do without millions of eyes on them, especially after the headlines die down. Joining Richards' clubhouse may be simpler for Jennings and Cohen, and choosing one of them or someone like them may be sufficient for Sony to keep "Jeopardy!" chugging along and bring its elderly-skewing audience with it.

Meanwhile, somewhere out there is a smart producer who may see what "Jeopardy!" didn't in Burton or Coates or someone else denied a fair shake by Richards and executives like him. Imagine what could be possible if that person were to create a general knowledge competition built to attract a modern, intellectually curious viewership while casting an eye toward the future.

That's a story I hope someone is bold enough to write with someone like Burton, Roberts or Coates steering it. But it won't find an audience within an unnecessarily bruised institution too stubborn to part ways with the "team player" who damaged it.

Melanie McFarland is Salon's TV critic. Follow her on Twitter: @McTelevision

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