‘Jeopardy’s’ Weirdest Week Ever Begins. Will Audiences Stay For It?

‘Jeopardy’s’ Weirdest Week Ever Begins. Will Audiences Stay For It?

On Monday, “Jeopardy!” began its 38th season in syndication with even more changes than when it started its 37th season last September — but for entirely different reasons. Last year, lockdowns halted production of “Jeopardy!” and other TV shows in spring 2020 and forced new safety precautions, a spacing out of contestant lecterns and an audience-free soundstage among the most significant.

This year, by contrast, the turmoil at “Jeopardy!” comes from within rather than from without. Sony Pictures Entertainment named executive producer Mike Richards the show’s host on August 11. He lasted but a week in that “permanent” role, giving up hosting duties on August 19, only to get fired from “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” entirely on August 31.

Sony made the right call in terminating Richards, who failed to inform company executives about boorish comments he had made on several podcasts years ago, even after details of several sexual discrimination lawsuits recently re-emerged. But his departure as

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