After greater than seven months of rotating visitor hosts, the seek for the brand new host of “Jeopardy!” got here to an anticlimactic finish on Wednesday when Sony Pictures Television introduced government producer Mike Richards because the present’s common host beginning this fall.
“Jeopardy!” can also be including a second host for the primary time in what appears like a concession to the widespread criticism of Richards when he was rumored to be the front-runner to take over for the late Alex Trebek. Actor Mayim Bialik will host prime-time specials and spinoffs, together with an upcoming prime-time model of the present’s longtime school event.
It’s arduous to not really feel like the entire visitor host course of was only for present. Sure, it was enjoyable to see a wide range of internet hosting types — some fairly good, some sort of rocky, some extraordinarily questionable (uh, Dr. Oz) — and the present raised some huge cash for the charities every visitor host selected. But it’s all an enormous disappointment and insult to followers, because the present made an enormous deal out of the visitor host course of, ginning up enthusiasm and assuring viewers that they have been taking our responses and suggestions into consideration.
Richards wasn’t unhealthy when he guest-hosted this winter (although, in keeping with The Ringer’s Claire McNear, the circumstances behind his guest-host flip are a bit shady), however he didn’t look like a fan favourite.
It’s additionally a foul search for the present. Ultimately, no matter what went on behind the scenes, the optics of the choice seem like: “So the man with the inside track gets the main gig, but because people were mad, we’ll have a woman host some of the time.”
In a memo to the present’s workers earlier this week, Richards addressed among the questions and criticism surrounding the choice. Regarding the truth that he was vying for the host place whereas additionally serving because the present’s government producer, he wrote that “the choice on this is not my decision and never has been.” (He additionally responded to experiences about a number of discrimination lawsuits when he was the manager producer of “The Price Is Right,” saying they didn’t “reflect the reality of who I am.”)
The optics of the choice seem like: “So the man with the inside track gets the main gig, but because people were mad, we’ll have a woman host some of the time.”
The information is particularly unhappy for the numerous “Jeopardy!” followers rooting for LeVar Burton, who was such an apparent option to fill Trebek’s footwear. (He was additionally solely one among a handful of individuals of shade within the visitor host rotation.)
Burton, who for years has dreamed of internet hosting the present and even mentioned so publicly, has a variety of the identical qualities as Trebek: He is universally beloved and conveys a way of calm and gravitas. It’s arduous to seek out somebody who doesn’t know him by his decadeslong profession as an actor on “Roots” and “Star Trek” and because the longtime host and government producer of PBS’s “Reading Rainbow.” Generations of children grew up watching him learn. Hosting a sport present about information would have made whole sense for his profession.
To be truthful, Burton’s efficiency as visitor host received combined opinions. But it additionally looks like he received a uncooked deal: His episodes needed to compete for scores with the Tokyo Olympics, and he had just one week on the lectern. Many of the opposite visitor hosts, together with those that weren’t within the everlasting place, received at the least two weeks. In January, legendary Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, the primary of the visitor hosts, received six weeks.
When the preliminary experiences that Richards would seemingly be the subsequent host got here out final week, many individuals have been stunned and confused, myself included. But the extra I thought of it, the extra it turned totally unsurprising: The white man with the within monitor will get the job. So it goes.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to grow to be a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter