Thursday, June 20, 2024

“Jeopardy!” Producers Ignore 245,000 Signatures on Petition for LeVar Burton to Host Show But Persist With Sportscaster Joe Buck


What the heck is going on with “Jeopardy!”? (Besides a lot of punctuation.)

Ratings are dropping as the producers continue to book guest hosts who the fans don’t want. When the show announced that Dr. Mehmet Oz was coming, the fans signed petitions arguing that he was basically a quack who undermined the intellectual process.

The producers ignored the fans, and they left. Dr. Oz drove “Jeopardy!” to its worst ratings ever.

Now comes news that the show has asked sportscaster Joe Buck to guest host. Again, there is outrage. Another petition is being circulated.

Meantime, a petition on to get actor LeVar Burton on as host has garnered 244,000 signatures as of this writing. Burton has a groundswell of support among “Jeopardy!” viewers. He himself wants to do it, and would gladly become the permanent host.

And the show? Crickets. Nothing. The producers are simply ignoring their fan base on purpose, kind of angering them instead of giving them what they want. Burton has hosted “Reading Rainbow” for two decades, has a big following from “Roots” and “Star Trek.” He would also be only the second Black person to host, as the show has scheduled Bill Whitaker from “60 Minutes” two weeks from now, after the very white Anderson Cooper has wrapped up his run.

Tomorrow we’ll get results of football player Aaron Rodgers’ hosting ratings. Producers were really doing a lot of press last week promoting his run. We’ll see what materialized from that.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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