Answer: This beloved TV show has made severe missteps in the last few weeks.
Question: What is Jeopardy?
Fans of the game show Jeopardy, including me, have been eagerly watching to see who will be taking over as host for the beloved Alex Trebek, who died last fall. The show has had 14 guest hosts filling in as the producers determined who would take over. These guest hosts were essentially trying out for the gig in public and fans were very vocal on their favorites. After much fanfare over choosing a host, the show announced that Mike Richards, the current executive producer would be the new host.
Richards had filled in as the first guest host and did a credible job. But fan perception was that the show needed to find someone quickly to do the show after Trebek’s death, and Richards was only hosting until the other guest hosts were sorted out. It was never made clear that he was trying out.
The outcry was swift and loud. Adding to the mess, it was discovered that Richards had some pretty ugly skeletons in his closet from comments he made years ago on his podcast “The Randumb Show”. Richards apologized for his careless words, but the damage was done. He agreed to step down as host (without ever starting) but will remain as executive producer. The show is now in damage control mode from several PR crises of its own creation.
Here are a few takeaway lessons:
The show has enough fans that this won’t mark the end of the show. Fans will be willing to forgive one mistake, but the show will need to be extremely careful with its next hire.