“Danger!” hired Alex Trebek as a host in 1984 and he held that title until his death in November 2020.
Now the gap needs to be filled, but your favorite game show is taking time. Instead, in the last few months, “Danger!” presented a parade of guest hosts who are doing their best to impress the audience and the studio, which is expected to call before the new season starts recording later this summer.
Think of Sony Pictures Television as squeezing the rose and Mayim Bialik, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric and “Jeopardy!” champions Ken Jennings and Buzzie Cohen are among the suitors so far, with Robin Roberts, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and LeVar Burton also coming.
Sony has “the strongest team of people I̵
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“It was usually the CEO’s instinct: ‘What about this man?’ Said Richards.
This was the approach of producer-artist Merv Griffin when he presented a syndicated version of “Jeopardy!” to television, five years after the last online iteration of the quiz, completed in 1979 on NBC. A word from Lucille Ball about the fame of “I Love Lucy”, and Trebek’s skills and experience sealed his hiring.
Audience and criticism of Canadian-born Trebek has grown over the years, making him a worthy replacement for both a gesture of respect for the late host and a means of protecting a corporate asset. While the ratings have shifted below the guest hosts, “Danger!” remains among the best-ranked syndicated programs in terms of viewership.
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Trebeck helped build the show for “excellence with its own perfection.” And it’s extremely difficult to find someone to replace him, not least because of the status he had in the American imagination, “said Deepak Sarma, a professor at Case Western Reserve University. and cultural consultant at Netflix. “Anyone who takes his position will eventually be condemned against this model of perfection.”
Hosts of Trebeck-era episodes were usually radio and television veterans immersed in the genre and almost invariably white men. Among “Danger!” the submarines are colorful men and women from a variety of fields, including NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The approach makes sense for Luis Virtel, a longtime fan whose point of view is informed by writing about a game show (“Match Game”) and competing in “Jeopardy!” In 2015.
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“It’s great to see all these different additions. I’m open to suggestions and I think most people are,” Virtel said, “Jimmy Kimmel live!” screenwriter and co-host of the Keep It podcast. “” Danger! “Is a one-of-a-kind show and the replacement must be in line with the game. “
What makes a good “Danger!” the host?
“I think creating a sense of comfort (that way) for the audience just makes the game easier,” Virtel said. “Also a sense of bet that a real hard game is being played. It’s called ‘Danger! “for a reason. The host is there to make sure we’re all on our feet.”
Attempts are an unusually public form of audition that can cause sweat on the flop even for emcee veterans. For the actor Bialik from “Blossom”, “The Big Bang Theory” and “Call Me Kat”, all the nerves were pushed by the demands of the job – and she is a neurologist.
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“There’s very little room not to be recruited 100% for hosting work when you’re on this stage,” Bialick said in an email. This turned out to be the most “joyful, challenging, transcendent action I have taken – second only to the birth of my second son on the living room floor.”
At the time, there were only a handful of pioneers like Betty White, the first host of a women’s show to win an Emmy of the Day (for “Just Men!” Since 1983), and Adam Wade, a black singer who hosted the show in 1975. “Musical chairs. ”
Wayne Brady, Steve Harvey and Meredith Vieira are among those who have entered even more, with the pressure on the entertainment industry growing only to reflect America more broadly on screen.
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But taking power like Trebek is more difficult for women and others, who are not usually seen in such roles, Sarma said.
“The kinds of expectations placed on a person with a color in a leadership position are usually higher than those placed on a white person in a position of power,” he said, and any mistake or “slight movement against the norm jumps … like a huge mistake. “
There may be a reaction from those who are outraged that Trebeck is not being replaced as similar, which Sarma said was not exaggerated in this period of social strife.
“Sony is in the pickle,” he said.
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Serial producer Richards, the second temporary host since the death of Trebeck’s pancreatic cancer last November at the age of 80, has an optimistic view, despite the prospects for online trolls and whatever their intentions for the beginner.
“I hope that everyone who is elected will be given a chance to prove why they were elected, without too much static,” he said. “In the end, we try to present the best product for our fans. This tends to narrow your focus to a pretty nice North Star, as opposed to ‘What will the internet say?’ “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.