September 26, 2021

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The ‘Jeopardy!’ franchise is in a PR and fiscal crisis

Jeopardy!” is in the midst of a PR and potentially economic nightmare.

On Tuesday, Sony Pictures Enjoyment (the producers of the longtime quiz show) confirmed to Fox Information it had fired its new host and executive producer, Mike Richards, simply because of past misogynistic and disparaging responses. 

Now, the look for carries on for a new emcee soon after the passing of Alex Trebek, who hosted the recreation display for 36 decades. He died in November at age 80 from pancreatic cancer. 

Other than standing, also at stake is the show’s money good results. In 2019, with Trebek at the helm, “Jeopardy!” was pulling in an regular of 10 million viewers a night, in accordance to Nielsen rating info.

‘JEOPARDY!’ AND ‘WHEEL OF FORTUNE’ Govt PRODUCER MIKE RICHARDS FIRED

In excess of the summer season of 2021, per Nielsen, from Could 31 to Aug. 22, the ratings averaged 7.8 million (Dwell+SD) for every episode for the very last 50 episodes though visitor hosts this kind of as Ken Jennings, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric and Mayim Bialik loaded in. 

The syndicated display, together with Sony’s “Wheel of Fortune” (which Richards also EP’d and was fired from) generates around $125 million just about every calendar year in financial gain, a well-placed source advised The Hollywood Reporter in 2019. 

Mike Richards was fired as host and EP of “Jeopardy!” and EP of “Wheel of Fortune.” (Greg Doherty / Getty Visuals)

The revenue comes from a blend of licensing charges, promotion income, and for every the insider, about $25 million from “Jeopardy!” slot machines. 

Two several years ago, “Jeopardy!” reportedly cost $1 million and $1.5 million per week to make. A person of the reasons why it can be been economically continuous is due to the fact various episodes can be shot in a working day, meaning the networks have banked content material. 

‘JEOPARDY!’ HOST MIKE RICHARDS APOLOGIZES FOR Past Remarks HE Created ABOUT Females ON A PODCAST

It proved highly useful in the beginning of the pandemic, simply because when the earth shut down, “Jeopardy!” was able to retain airing new episodes.

Even when Trebek died, the final episode he taped premiered on Jan. 8, 2021, and averaged 14 million complete viewers.

Alex Trebek, the late host of the game show

Alex Trebek, the late host of the recreation display “Jeopardy!” (Jeopardy! via AP / AP Newsroom)

Now with no the beloved host and the debacle Richards brought on, can “Jeopardy!” continue to rake in the numbers that created it No. 1?

Questions were being elevated about no matter if Richards experienced set his finger on the scale in favor of himself and regardless of whether he experienced the gravitas that was observed in other candidates, such as fan-most loved LeVar Burton. The conclusion to bypass a person of shade or a female for the flagship display also was criticized, while guest host Bialik was named host for primetime “Jeopardy!” specials.

Previous ‘JEOPARDY!’ Champion JAMES HOLZHAUER APPLAUDS MIKE RICHARDS’ FIRING

In a assertion issued to Fox Information final 7 days, Richards apologized for his earlier makes an attempt at being “provocative” and vowed to do better in the foreseeable future. 

“It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing instant of misjudgment, thoughtlessness and insensitivity from approximately a decade ago,” Richards explained. “Looking back now, there is no excuse, of class, for the feedback I produced on this podcast and I am deeply sorry.”

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The episodes that Richards taped for the duration of his small tenure as host are scheduled to air when the present returns for its 38th period starting Sept. 13.

The Affiliated Press contributed to this report.