Saturday, July 30, 2016

In jeopardy

I don't watch the network morning shows much, but my wife likes Today. So she may have seen the story the show did on Jeopardy.

Mostly it was just the 77 zillionth interview with Alex Trebek, but there were also a few glimpses of the control room and a contestant tryout session. Alex allowed that he didn't mind the Saturday Night Live lampoons. He was getting interviewed on an NBC show, after all. But he would probably agree that there is no such thing as bad publicity, at least when it comes to game show parodies.

He also told the usual story about how Merv Griffin's wife came up with the idea of just giving contestants the answers. (This was in the early 1960s, when the rigging scandals were still painfully fresh.) I've heard the story so often that I'm starting to wonder if it's only another urban legend. But I guess somebody had to come up with the reverse answer and question format. It might as well have been Julann.

Jeopardy's ratings are still just fine, even if the show skews very old. Sooner or later Alex will have to retire, of course. But The Price is Right survived Bob's departure, so Jeopardy will probably find a way to endure, too.

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