‘Jeopardy!’ Has Open New Season With Episodes That includes Ousted Host : NPR

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Jeopardy has to use a week full of episodes with Mike Richards as moderator, even though fans already know he has been ousted. Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP Hide caption

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Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP

Jeopardy has to use a week full of episodes with Mike Richards as moderator, even though fans already know he has been ousted.

Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP

NEW YORK – Mike Richards’ very brief era on “Jeopardy!” Began Monday when the ailing game show addressed the embarrassment of its 38th birthday.

Richards resigned as Alex Trebek’s replacement on August 20 and was ousted as executive producer on the show a week and a half later after it was discovered that podcasts he made in 2013 and 2014 contained degrading remarks about women and minorities.

The Mike Richards

His choice to host Sony Pictures Television after a long trial run by other personalities was unpopular with fans even before the old podcasts hit.

His removal came after a week of recording shows for the new season, and Sony couldn’t rerun them without compromising the integrity of the game.

Richards was introduced to host on Monday by a depressed sounding announcer, Johnny Gilbert. Not a word was mentioned of his status as Trebek’s replacement; if it was originally it was cut out.

Before it was unveiled, Trebek’s widow and children were found to be present when the stage was dedicated to their old host, who died of cancer last October.

“For the first time, let’s take Alex Trebek’s stage with ‘Jeopardy!’ play, ”said Richards.

In keeping with Trebek’s tradition – he viewed the game and its players as the star – Richards generally took a back seat.

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The show is set in the midst of a historic event hosted by Matt Amodio, a graduate student from New Haven, Connecticut. He won his 19th game in a row on Monday, bringing his total winnings to $ 642,601, just behind Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer.

Amodio made quick work of rivals Amde Mengistu of Brooklyn, NY and Gabbie Kim of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, winning $ 67,800 on Monday.

“Danger!” Actress Mayim Bialik will return as a guest host next week before another series of trial runs for Trebek’s permanent replacement begins.

The Richard era ends after five shows. Trebek, who started in 1984, numbered more than 8,200.