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TV Notes
On The Air

MONDAY JAN. 11, 2021 Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid

ESPN:
8PM - CFP National Championship: Ohio State at Alabama (LIVE)*
*
(simulcast on ESPN2, ESPN News and ESPN U with unique features/narrations)
Under/Over 75 means 3 things....pts pts & more pts.
Some sportsbook has a prop: 0 TDs scored.
You get $50,000 for $1 if it hits - good luck with that. :p

edit:
Since i do live in game $$betting i have to watch the game live so no dvr delay though i still do dvr to watch later in the wk again -- so during commercials i channel surf do people still do that well i do.
Anyways on HSN tonight one of the guest sellers Cheryl is on again what a BABE !! shes got that tall/skinny thing going on nice hair/cute face/great personality - yesterday she was selling a nutribullet blender i almost bought it even though i already have a good one....just sayin.

Also those Progessive commercials where the teacher is trying to get them to not act as their parents always crax me up.
The teacher is really funny think ive seen him on tv before but cant place him.
 

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TV/Production Notes
‘Risk’ Live-Action TV Series From Beau Willimon in the Works at Entertainment One
By Jennifer Maas, TheWrap.com - Jan. 11, 2021

Here’s some news for all you fans of a game about global domination that can tear family and friends apart: A “Risk” live-action TV series from “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon is in the works at Entertainment One (eOne), the studio announced Monday.

The series will be developed at eOne, Hasbro’s entertainment studio, under a first-look, multi-year television deal that the studio has signed with Willimon and Jordan Tappis’ production company, Westward. That deal will see the pair and their banner develop other projects for the studio as well.

Willimon is set to write and oversee development on the “Risk” series. There is no streaming service or network currently attached to the TV adaption of the Hasbro game, and no word on who will star in the potential show.

“As we continue to build out eOne’s world-class content slate, we couldn’t think of more perfect partners than Beau and Jordan — whose award-winning storytelling and imagination are among the best in the business,” Michael Lombardo, president of global television at eOne said. “In Beau, we’ve found an amazing combination of brilliant producer, singular creator, and avid fan of Risk. We can’t wait to work with him and the rest of the Westward team to reimagine that brand and so much more.”

Willimon and Tappis added: “All of us at Westward are thrilled to join forces with eOne to bring to life some of the most successful IP in the marketplace as well as partner on our extensive slate of scripted television shows. We’re excited to develop ‘Risk’ as our first project together.”

Willimon is best known for creating Netflix’s “House of Cards” and Hulu’s space drama “The First.” On the film side, he is behind the movies “Mary Queen of Scots” and “The Ides of March.”

He and Westward are repped by Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.

Source: 'Risk' Live-Action TV Series From Beau Willimon in the Works (thewrap.com)
 

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Technology/Streaming Notes (CES 2012)
Sony promises streaming quality nearly as good as 4K Blu-ray on Bravia Core movie service
By Julia Alexander, TheVerge.com - Jan. 11, 2021

Sony’s new line of Bravia XR television sets will allow customers to watch and stream movies at some of the highest quality available in the consumer market through its new Bravia Core platform, according to the company.

Bravia XR owners will be able to choose from a number of Sony Pictures titles and watch them using Sony’s “Pure Stream” technology, which achieves “near lossless” ultra high-definition, Blu-ray disc quality, according to Sony. Pure Stream also allows for streaming of up to 80 megabits per second. To compare, most streaming services recommend maintaining an internet speed between 15 and 25 megabits per second to achieve proper 4K Ultra HD streaming quality. If Sony’s numbers are accurate, that’s better than a lot of the competition.

The platform comes preloaded on all new Bravia XR models (MASTER Series Z9J 8K LED, MASTER Series A90J and A80J OLED, and X95J and X90J 4K LED) and effectively uses a voucher system. Depending on the model that someone purchases, they’re given a number of credits. Those credits can be cashed in for a number of new titles. It’s unclear if people can keep those titles after they’re purchased with the credits, but The Verge has reached out to Sony for more information.

On the streaming front, Sony’s website states that customers can stream a number of titles “anytime and as many times as you like, in up to 4K HDR quality,” but there are limits to this, too. Time periods for streaming availability are depending on the Bravia XR model purchased, according to the site.

Bravia Core isn’t going to replace Netflix, but it seems like it was specifically designed to show customers the ultimate capabilities of their new TV set. Kind of like when you buy a TV with true 4K HDR capabilities, and you play the best 4K YouTube channels to try to see the difference between your new set and that old clunker you just tossed. Bravia XR TVs also have “the largest IMAX Enhanced movie collection,” according to Sony. It’s unclear exactly how many movies that works out to, though.

Source: Sony promises streaming quality nearly as good as 4K Blu-ray on Bravia Core - The Verge
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
CNN Extends Jake Tapper's The Lead, Fox News Reveals New Daytime Sked
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Jan. 11, 2021

Two major cable news networks are making news this Monday morning.

CNN, for starters, has announced that The Lead With Jake Tapper will be expanding to two hours, while Dana Bash will now co-anchor Sunday’s State of the Union with Tapper. (The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer will now run just an hour.)

Additionally at CNN, election-season breakout star Abby Phillip, now the cabler’s senior political correspondent, will anchor Inside Politics With Abby Phillip on Sundays at 8 am ET; John King will continue to anchor Inside Politics‘ weekday edition.

Other changes include (but are not limited to) the promotion of Kaitlin Collins to chief White House correspondent, while Jim Acosta transitions to chief domestic correspondent and Pamela Brown becomes senior Washington correspondent/will anchor CNN Newsroom on weekends.

Fox News Channel, meanwhile, has unveiled a new daytime and early prime programming lineup, to launch Monday, Jan. 18.

Kicking off the schedule will be a new two-hour edition of America’s Newsroom, with its founding anchor Bill Hemmer joined by co-anchor Dana Perino. Additionally, John Roberts will be joined by Sandra Smith in helming a new two-hour news program, titled America Reports. (Roberts’ replacement on the White House correspondent team will be announced at a later date.)

Martha MacCallum’s The Story will move to 3 pm ET, followed by Neil Cavuto’s Your World, The Five and then Special Report With Bret Baier. A rotating group of opinion hosts will helm the 7 o’clock hour, to be titled Fox News Primetime.

9 am: America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino
11 am: The Faulkner Focus
12 pm: Outnumbered
1 pm: America Reports with John Roberts and Sandra Smith
3 pm: The Story with Martha MacCallum
4 pm: Your World with Neil Cavuto
5 pm: The Five
6 pm: Special Report with Bret Baier
7 pm:
Fox News Primetime

Source: CNN, Fox News Channel Announce Major Anchor and Schedule Changes | TVLine
 

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TV/Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Primetime Ratings Sunday: NBC on Top With NFL Playoffs
By Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable - Jan. 11, 2021

NBC had the top score in Sunday prime, with playoff football action leading the way. NBC scored a 5.0 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 25 share. In second was CBS at 2.3/11.

Football Night in America got a 2.0 on NBC, up 33% from the week before, and the game, Browns versus Steelers, a 6.0. That was a 62% gain from the previous Sunday, which was the regular-season finale.

CBS had Bears versus Saints at the start of prime and 60 Minutes up 19% to 1.9. NCIS: Los Angeles grew 17% to 0.7 and NCIS: New Orleans scored a flat 0.5.

ABC got a 0.5/3. America’s Funniest Home Videos went up 17% to 0.7 and a Celebrity Wheel of Fortune rerun followed. Who Wants to be a Millionaire shot up 25% to 0.5 and The Rookie lost 20% for a 0.4.

Univision posted a 0.4/2. Aqui y Ahora shot up 150% to 0.5 and led into movie Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.

Fox had a 0.3/1 with comedy reruns.

Telemundo had a 0.1/1 with a Browns-Steelers simulcast.

The CW got a 0.1/0 with the Critics Choice Super Awards.

Source: Primetime Ratings Sunday: NBC on Top With NFL Playoffs | Broadcasting+Cable (nexttv.com)
 

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
HBO Max's 'The Batman' Spinoff Taps 'Giri/Haji' Creator as Showrunner
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Jan. 11, 2021

HBO Max has found a new chief for its Gotham PD series.

Giri/Haji creator Joe Barton will take over as showrunner on the project, a spinoff of The Batman feature film. Barton steps in to the role two months after Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire veteran Terence Winter exited the show over creative differences.

The untitled show, ordered straight to series in July, is designed as a companion piece to director Matt Reeves' The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson in the title role. Reeves is among the executive producers of the show, which will further examine the corruption in Gotham City set up in the film. The series is part of WarnerMedia's effort to build a new Batman universe across multiple platforms.

Barton created and wrote the BBC and Netflix's well-reviewed Giri/Haji, which was nominated for a BAFTA Award for best drama series. His credits also include feature films My Days of Mercy, The Ritual and the upcoming Invasion, and series including AMC's Humans and the BBC's Our World War. He is repped by ICM Partners, Grandview and Independent Talent Group.

The series is formally untitled but has been going by the working title of Gotham Central, a nod to Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka's police procedural comic, and GCPD.

At DC's FanDome event last summer, Reeves said the series would be told from a crooked cop's point of view and would serve as a prequel to his Batman Year Two movie. "The story is actually a battle for his soul," Reeves said at the time. It's unclear whether The Batman stars Pattinson and Jeffrey Wright (Commissioner James Gordon) will appear in the show.

Warner Bros. TV is producing the series. Reeves executive produces via his 6th & Idaho banner, which has an overall deal at WBTV, along with Barton, Dylan Clark and Daniel Pipski and Adam Kassan of 6th & Idaho. The latter's Rafi Crohn is a co-executive producer.

Source: HBO Max's 'The Batman' Spinoff Taps 'Giri/Haji' Creator as Showrunner | Hollywood Reporter
 

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Technology/Business Notes
Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes
Bitcoin owners are getting rich because the cryptocurrency has soared. But what happens when you can’t access that wealth because you forgot the password to your digital wallet?
By Nathaniel Popper, The New York Times - Jan. 12, 2021

Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million.

The password will let him unlock a small hard drive, known as an IronKey, which contains the private keys to a digital wallet that holds 7,002 Bitcoin. While the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply on Monday, it is still up more than 50 percent from just a month ago when it passed its previous all-time high around $20,000.

The problem is that Mr. Thomas years ago lost the paper where he wrote down the password for his IronKey, which gives users 10 guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever. He has since tried eight of his most commonly used password formulations — to no avail.

“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Mr. Thomas said. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”

Bitcoin, which has been on an extraordinary and volatile eight-month run, has made a lot of its holders very rich in a short period of time, even as the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the world economy.

But the cryptocurrency’s unusual nature has also meant that there are many people who are locked out of their Bitcoin fortunes as a result of lost or forgotten keys. They have been forced to watch, helpless, as the price has risen and fallen dramatically, unable to cash in on their digital wealth.

Of the existing 18.5 million Bitcoin, around 20 percent — currently worth around $140 billion — appear to be in lost or otherwise stranded wallets, according to the cryptocurrency data firm Chainalysis. Wallet Recovery Services, a business that helps find lost digital keys, said it has gotten 70 requests a day from people who want help recovering their riches, three times the number of a month ago.

Bitcoin owners who are locked out of their wallets speak of endless days and nights of frustration as they have tried to access their fortunes. Many have owned the coins since Bitcoin’s early days a decade ago, when no one had confidence that the tokens would be worth anything.

“Through the years I would say I have spent hundreds of hours trying to get back into these wallets,” said Brad Yasar, an entrepreneur in Los Angeles who has a few desktop computers that contain thousands of Bitcoin he created, or mined, during the early days of the technology. While those Bitcoin are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars, he lost his passwords many years ago and has put the hard drives containing them in vacuum-sealed bags, out of sight.

“I don’t want to be reminded every day that what I have now is a fraction of what I could have that I lost,” he said.

The dilemma is a stark reminder of Bitcoin’s unusual technological underpinnings, which set it apart from normal money and gives it some of its most vaunted — and riskiest — qualities. With traditional bank accounts and online wallets, banks like Wells Fargo and other financial companies like PayPal can provide people the passwords to their accounts or reset lost passwords.

But Bitcoin has no company to provide or store passwords. The virtual currency’s creator, a shadowy figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto, has said that Bitcoin’s central idea was to allow anyone in the world to open a digital bank account and hold the money in a way that no government could prevent or regulate.

This is made possible by the structure of Bitcoin, which is governed by a network of computers that agreed to follow software containing all the rules for the cryptocurrency. The software includes a complex algorithm that makes it possible to create an address, and associated private key, which is known only by the person who created the wallet.

The software also allows the Bitcoin network to confirm the accuracy of the password to allow transactions, without seeing or knowing the password itself. In short, the system makes it possible for anyone to create a Bitcoin wallet without having to register with a financial institution or go through any sort of identity check.

That has made Bitcoin popular with criminals, who can use the money without revealing their identity. It has also attracted people in countries like China and Venezuela, where authoritarian governments are known for raiding or shutting down traditional bank accounts.

But the structure of this system did not account for just how bad people can be at remembering and securing their passwords.

“Even sophisticated investors have been completely incapable of doing any kind of management of private keys,” said Diogo Monica, the co-founder of a start-up called Anchorage, which helps companies handle cryptocurrency security. Mr. Monica started the company in 2017 after helping a hedge fund regain access to one of its Bitcoin wallets.

Mr. Thomas, the programmer, said he was drawn to Bitcoin partly because it was outside the control of a country or company. In 2011, when he was living in Switzerland, he was given the 7,002 Bitcoins by an early Bitcoin fanatic as a reward for making an animated video, “What is Bitcoin?,” which introduced many people to the technology.

That year, he lost the digital keys to the wallet holding the Bitcoin. Since then, as Bitcoin’s value has soared and fallen and he could not get his hands on the money, Mr. Thomas has soured on the idea that people should be their own bank and hold their own money.

“This whole idea of being your own bank — let me put it this way, ‘Do you make your own shoes?” he said. “The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all those things that banks do.”

Other Bitcoin believers have also realized the difficulties of being their own bank. Some have outsourced the work of holding Bitcoin to start-ups and exchanges that secure the private keys to people’s stashes of the virtual currency.

Yet some of these services have had just as much trouble securing their keys. Many of the largest Bitcoin exchanges over the years — including the onetime well-known exchange, Mt. Gox — have lost private keys or had them stolen.

Gabriel Abed, 34, an entrepreneur from Barbados, lost around 800 Bitcoins — now worth around $25 million — when a colleague reformatted a laptop that contained the private keys to a Bitcoin wallet in 2011.

Mr. Abed said this did not dim his enthusiasm. Before Bitcoin, he said, he and his fellow islanders had not been able to access affordable digital financial products like the credit cards and bank accounts that are easily available to Americans. In Barbados, even getting a PayPal account was almost impossible, he said. The open nature of Bitcoin, he said, gave him full access to the digital financial world for the first time.

“The risk of being my own bank comes with the reward of being able to freely access my money and be a citizen of the world — that is worth it,” Mr. Abed said.

For Mr. Abed and Mr. Thomas, any losses from mishandling the private keys have partly been assuaged by the enormous gains they have made on the Bitcoin they managed to hold onto. The 800 Bitcoin Mr. Abed lost in 2011 were only a fraction of the tokens he has since bought and sold, allowing him to recently buy a 100-acre plot of oceanfront land in Barbados for over $25 million.

Mr. Thomas said he also managed to hold onto enough Bitcoin — and remember the passwords — to give him more riches than he knows what to do with. In 2012, he joined a cryptocurrency start-up, Ripple, that aimed to improve on Bitcoin. He was rewarded with Ripple’s own native currency, known as XRP, which rose in value.

(Ripple has recently run into its legal troubles, in part because the founders had too much control over the creation and distribution of the XRP coins.)

As for his lost password and inaccessible Bitcoin, Mr. Thomas has put the IronKey in a secure facility — he won’t say where — in case cryptographers come up with new ways of cracking complex passwords. Keeping it far away helps him try not to think about it, he said.

“I got to a point where I said to myself, ‘Let it be in the past, just for your own mental health,’” he said.

Source: As Bitcoin Prices Swing, Millionaires Lose Sleep Over Lost Keys - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
 

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No political comments, please.

TV Sports/Critic's Notes
Bill Belichick chooses his legacy over Trump's Medal of Freedom
By Nancy Armour, USA Today - Jan. 11, 2021

There are some calls that are obvious. That doesn’t make them any less significant.

Citing the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week that left five people dead and our democracy shaken, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick announced Monday that he will not accept the Medal of Freedom. While putting country first might not seem particularly noble, it’s more than NFL owners and the league have done.

A lot of members of Congress, too.

“I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy,” Belichick said in a statement, reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Belichick is one of the shrewdest coaches there is, with six Super Bowl titles to prove it. (He has another two from his days as a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants.) He had to know both that President Donald Trump was trying to use the Medal of Freedom presentation as a smokescreen, and that his reputation would never recover if he went along with it.

Imagine trying to explain himself to his players, about 70% of whom are Black. Belichick would never again be able to command the respect of his locker room, and the tight-fisted control he has wielded so successfully for more than two decades would evaporate.

This isn’t simply a matter of differing opinions. Athletes and coaches navigate those all the time, and Belichick’s past support of Trump is hardly a secret. Nor is the fact some NFL owners have been among Trump’s most ardent backers – which might explain the deafening silence of both the league and team owners.

But this is no longer about politics. The invasion of the Capitol on Wednesday, and the reluctance of some of our leaders to condemn it, has damaged the very foundation of this country.

The images of mostly white Trump supporters vandalizing the Capitol, beating a police officer as he lay face-down and threatening to kill Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are horrifying. That it was incited by the president, because he simply cannot bear the idea that he lost the election, is appalling.

A majority of Americans want Trump removed from office, even if there are only a few more days until Joe Biden is inaugurated. Corporations are rushing to distance themselves both from Trump and the toadies still doing his bidding. It is not a time for smiling photo ops.

The Medal of Freedom is this country’s highest civilian honor, previously awarded to American icons such as Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell and Michael Jordan. No doubt Belichick would have been proud to accept it under different circumstances.

But to do so now would be seen as an expression of support for Trump and his monstrous actions, and that association would taint Belichick forever. It also would make a farce of the NFL’s social justice efforts, including the $95 million in grants the league awarded just last week – a point not lost on Belichick.

“One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions,” he said in his statement. “Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweighs the benefits of any individual award.”

Belichick is not a man of many words. But with this principled stand, he spoke volumes. If only others – in the NFL, in Congress – had the courage to do the same.

Source: Bill Belichick chooses his legacy over Donald Trump's Medal of Freedom (usatoday.com)
 

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Production Notes (Streaming)
Kevin Hart signs deal with Netflix for four exclusive movies
By Ian Carlos Campbell, TheVerge.com - Jan. 11, 2021

Netflix has signed a multiyear deal with Kevin Hart and his production company HartBeat Productions for four exclusive films starring Hart and first dibs on films the comedy star develops with his company.

Hart partnered with Netflix most recently for his comedy special Zero F**ks Given, which Netflix says was the “#1 Netflix comedy special in 2020,” but this new deal would bring the lucrative comedy star even deeper into the fold. Hart’s films have grossed a combined $4 billion in the global box office, according to Netflix, so taking advantage of that star power to draw users to the streaming service and keep them around makes perfect sense.

Relying on recognizable comedy stars has been a successful formula for Netflix. Adam Sandler’s deal with the company has produced films that consistently rank among the top of Netflix’s charts. Sandler’s films on Netflix have been so popular that Netflix has renewed its deal with the former SNL star twice just to keep him around. Beyond that, Hart and Sandler share a similar broad appeal, generally enjoyed by all ages in the US and fans around the world. As Netflix expands globally, films with stars who are recognizable everywhere become more and more important to keep growing its subscriber base.

Hart’s not without his controversies — most notably, a pattern of homophobic behavior (and tweets) that cost him a gig hosting the Academy Awards in 2019. The star has since acknowledged his mistakes, but Hart’s past remarks could be a concern for some Netflix subscribers.

Source: Kevin Hart signs deal with Netflix for four exclusive movies - The Verge
 

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Obituary
Stacy Title, Director of ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘The Bye Bye Man,’ Dies at 56
By Ross A. Lincoln, TheWrap.com - Jan. 11, 2021

Stacy Title, a writer-director known for supernatural horror and black comedy films like “The Last Supper” and “The Bye Bye Man,” died Monday following a three-year battle with ALS. She was 56.

Her husband, actor and screenwriter Jonathan Penner, announced her death on Twitter.

Title began her directing career with the 1993 Oscar-nominated short film “Down on the Waterfront.” Her feature debut came in 1995 with “The Last Supper,” a black comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Courtney B. Vance, Bill Paxton, Annabeth Gish and Ron Perlman about a group of liberal college students who begin murdering conservatives by luring them to dinner parties where they poison them, only to finally be outsmarted by a famous conservative pundit with political aspirations.

She followed that up in 1999 with an adaptation of “Hamlet” called “Let the Devil Wear Black.” She directed the horror anthology film “Hood of Horror” in 2006, “The Greatest Show Ever” in 2007, and her final film, “The Bye Bye Man” in 2017.

Title also wrote and produced the short-lived 2003 TV revival of “The Lone Ranger,” among other projects.

She was diagnosed with ALS in 2017 and continued to work as the illness progressed.

Title married Penner in 1991 and he appeared in “The Last Supper.” They had 2 children.

Source: Stacy Title, Director of 'The Bye Bye Man,' Dies at 56 (thewrap.com)
 

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TV/Business Notes
Univision Names New Top Execs Under Wade Davis
By Jon Lafayette, Broadcasting & Cable - Jan. 11, 2021

Wade Davis, Univision's new CEO, named his senior management team, bringing several well-known industry executives to the Spanish-language media company.

Former ViacomCBS exec Pierluigi Gazzolo was named president and chief transformation officer at Univision; Luis Silberwasser, last with Telemundo, was named president of the Univision Television Networks Group; and former Turner ad sales head Donna Speciale was named president of advertising sales and marketing.

Amy Tenbring and Glenn Dryfoos were promoted to co-interim general counsel at Unvision; Jessica Rodriguez will continue as CMO and Friday Abernethy was promoted to executive VP of content distribution and partnerships.

Univision’s former chief legal and corporate affairs officer Jonathan Schwartz, president of distribution Henry Ahn, and president of ad sales and marketing Steve Mandala are leaving the company.

“Today begins a transformation for Univision. One that will see us accelerate our position as the leading U.S. Hispanic media company as we launch new products and services that will drive value for our U.S. Hispanic audience and for our advertising and distribution partners, who want to reach and engage with this critical audience,” said Davis, the former Viacom CFO, whose led the acquisition of Univision by ForgeLight and Searchlight.

“Achieving our objectives will require new ways of working together, diversity of perspectives and in some cases new talent and skillsets. We began the evolution of our team with the appointment of world class leaders to our board of directors to bring together skillsets and diversity that Univision has never had at the board level. Today we are announcing a new, industry leading executive leadership team that exemplifies the traits of innovation, collaboration, inclusivity and accountability that will be central to our transformation. Each of these leaders understand the need to optimize Univision’s core businesses to meet its audience where they are and evolve its content, platforms and products to reach the market in new ways,” Davis said.

Source: Univision Names New Top Execs Under Wade Davis | Broadcasting+Cable (nexttv.com)
 

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TV Sports/Cultural Notes
Mike Milbury out at NBC after sexist comment
By Dan Martin, New York Post - Jan. 11, 2021

Nearly five months after drawing criticism for making a sexist comment while broadcasting a game, Mike Milbury is out at NBC Sports, the network confirmed.

“We are grateful to Mike for all of his contributions to our coverage for 14 years, but he will not be returning to our NHL announce team. We wish him well,” NBC said in a statement.

The move comes in the wake of Milbury’s comment during an Islanders-Capitals playoff game in August, when he referred to women as a distraction for players.

After play-by-play man John Forslund said, “If you think about it, [the bubble is] a terrific environment with regard to — if you enjoy playing and enjoy being with your teammates for long periods of time, it’s a perfect place,” Milbury replied, “Not even any women here to disrupt your concentration.’’

The next day, the NHL issued a statement criticizing Milbury’s remark, saying the league “condemns the insensitive and insulting comment that Mike Milbury made during last night’s broadcast and we have communicated our feelings to NBC. The comment did not reflect the NHL’s values and commitment to making our game more inclusive and welcoming to all.”

At the time, NBC Sports said it was “disappointed about Mike’s insensitive comment and have addressed it with him.” Milbury did not call another game in the postseason.

Milbury also issued an apology statement the following day.

“I sincerely apologize for making the comment. It was not my intention to disrespect anyone,” the former Islanders coach said. “I was trying to be irreverent and took it a step too far. It was a regrettable mistake that I take seriously.”

Milbury had also questioned Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask’s decision to leave the bubble for family reasons last year. It was later reported Rask had a family emergency.

“Nobody has simply opted to leave the bubble just because they didn’t want to be here and they needed to be with their family,” Milbury said at the time. “I would not have done it, the rest of the league’s players have not done it.”

Source: Mike Milbury out at NBC after sexist comment (nypost.com)
 

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TV/Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 12, 2021

ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST
NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET
If you avoided this series last season, and even avoided last week’s Season 2 premiere, it may be because the premise sounded just too weird or cute: a young woman awakens from a brain scan to discover she can intermittently see and hear the inner emotions of people around her, as conveyed in song and dance. Or you may have just thought there’s nothing worth watching on the commercial broadcast networks any more. Either way, in this case, you’re wrong – and I urge you to watch this touching, tender series, if only to witness Jane Levy’s marvelous performance as Zoey. This season, she’s mostly on her own, having lost two mentors very important to her – but Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, like its title character, is not only unusually sensitive and empathic, but inspirationally resilient.

THIS IS US
NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

There’s a significant flashback reveal in tonight’s episode – one that explains how Randall, one member of this show’s extended family, came to be in the same maternity ward as the others. For fans, it’s a long-awaited, key part of the backstory.

PRODIGAL SON
Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON PREMIERE:
Season 2 of this Fox series finds a way to give more freedom, and thus more menace, to the serial murderer played by Michael Sheen. Prodigal Son frequently not only stretches credibility, but snaps it – yet Sheen is such a riveting actor, he’s reason enough to keep watching. He’s killer.


Source: TV Show Reviews, Recommendations... TV Worth Watching!

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TV Review (Cable)
The Woman Who Helped Create the Foundations of the Codebreaking System We Use Today: 'The Codebreaker'
By David Hinckley, TVWorthWatching.com's 'All Along the Watchtower' - Jan. 11, 2021

Just as the bow and arrow and the musket changed the game of war, so did the radio, and that critical fact leads a PBS special called The Codebreaker to a little-known American heroine named Elizebeth Smith Friedman.

The ability to transmit wireless signals to a remote location meant wartime commanders could instantly exchange information and thus implement strategies more quickly over a much wider area.

Intriguingly enough, this new communication system sent those signals and messages through the same air to which the enemy had access.

The trick was to send the messages so the enemy could not decipher them, and military operations soon turned encryption into a science.

This prompted enemies everywhere to look for ways of breaking the codes anyway, and it turned out that only a tiny handful of people had the mental agility to outthink the sophisticated systems.

Fortunately for the United States, one of those people was Elizebeth Smith Friedman, whose personal skill and ability to develop a whole codebreaking system enabled the U.S. government to smash first Prohibition mobsters and later wolfpacks of Nazi submarines.

Friedman's contribution receives its full due in The Codebreaker, an American Experience production that premieres Monday at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings and PBS.org).

This recognition feels especially important because it wasn't until decades after her death that the unsealing of classified files revealed the depth and value of her work.

In the ensuing years, while Friedman was struggling through a diminished old age, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover was taking credit for her work.

That gives a melancholy end to a mostly upbeat and inspiring story, despite the tragic events around which it unfolded.

Elizebeth Smith was raised a Quaker but resisted a life in which a woman's only role was to marry and raise the children. She married William Friedman, and they did have two children, but she also found that, like her husband, she had a talent for cryptography.

They both went into the field, William working for the government at a much higher salary and Elizebeth becoming so good that a reluctant law enforcement establishment finally had to break down and, against all its instincts, hire a woman.

While she worked on and off in cryptography for years, developing systems to root out hidden messages, her big score came in the 1930s.

The government knew bootleggers and distributors of illegal alcohol were sending radio messages about their delivery schedules from offshore boats, but they couldn't crack the codes until Friedman came aboard.

Her work helped lead to the capture and imprisonment of, among others, Al Capone.

The stakes increased geometrically a few years later when the U.S. found itself unable to break the codes by which Germany was signaling its U-boats where to find and sink Allied shipping.

Friedman did it and also set up a system by which other U.S. cryptographers could do the same. The first institutional codebreaking departments were built on the fundamentals of her system, which remain in use today.

Like all military personnel working in classified areas, Friedman signed a strict vow of silence regarding any information involving the project. Following that pledge, she never publicly spoke of her work during her lifetime.

The Codebreaker includes some technical material on the science of deciphering messages. It does not plunge in so deeply that any of the material becomes white noise to civilian viewers.

The Codebreaker also does not sensationalize Friedman's life. She is portrayed as a rebel with a cause, but not a fiery rebel. She had a long marriage that seems happy despite the intense pressure both she and William often found themselves under. If she rarely received proper credit for her work, she knew its value.

Because so much time has lapsed, The Codebreaker doesn't have the luxury of interviews with contemporaries, mostly relying instead on historians. They make our debt of gratitude clear.

Source: The Woman Who Helped Create the Foundations of the Codebreaking System We Use Today: 'The Codebreaker' (tvworthwatching.com)
 

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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
Sex Pistols Limited Series From Danny Boyle a Go at FX
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Jan. 11, 2021

FX wants to be anarchy.

The Disney-owned outlet has ordered a six-episode limited series, Pistol, about punk rock legends the Sex Pistols. It's based on a memoir titled Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol by the band's guitarist, Steve Jones, and will be directed and executive produced by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire).

Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge!) created the series and wrote the episodes with Frank Cottrell Boyce (Sometimes Always Never). Pistol comes from FX Productions and Wiip.

"It's great to be back in business with Danny Boyle, an exceptional artist responsible for so many great feature films and TV series," said Nick Grad, president original programming at FX. "Steve Jones was at the center of the storm that shook the rock establishment and we’re thrilled to have Danny and the rest of the creative team tell his story as a member of one of music's most notorious bands — the Sex Pistols."

Pistol will center on Jones, who co-founded the Sex Pistols in the mid-1970s. It will follow his life from West London's council estates to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren's boutique, Sex — one of the early centers of punk culture in London — and the band's meteoric rise and fall.

"Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent. This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever," said Boyle. "It is the detonation point for British street culture, where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion — and everyone had to watch & listen, and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols. At its center was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac — a hero for the times — Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there."

Added Wiip CEO Paul Lee, "The Sex Pistols changed music forever and Danny Boyle is the perfect director to tell Steve Jones' story fueled by raw creativity and destruction. We're thrilled to be making this with our friends at FX."

Toby Wallace (Babyteeth, Netflix's The Society) will play Jones in the series. The cast also includes Anson Boon (Crawl, 1917) as Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten; Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) as bass player Sid Vicious; Jacob Slater as drummer Paul Cook; Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) as original band member Glen Matlock; Dylan Llewellyn (Frequencies, Derry Girls) as Wally Nightingale, who played with Jones in a forerunner to the Pistols; Sydney Chandler (Don't Worry Darling) as future Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde, who worked at Sex in the mid-'70s; Emma Appleton (The Witcher) as Nancy Spungen, Vicious' girlfriend; and Game of Thrones favorite Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan.

CAA-backed Wiip was among the points of contention in the long fight over packaging between the Writers Guild of America and agencies. In announcing an agreement with the WGA in December, CAA and parent company TPG pledged to reduce their ownership stake in Wiip to 20 percent.

Pistol is Boyle's second collaboration with FX. He executive produced and directed several episodes of the cabler's 2018 limited series Trust. Jones, Boyle and Pearce executive produce with Gail Lyon, Anita Camarata, Tracey Seaward, Paul Lee, Hope Hartman and Wiip. Production on the series is slated to begin in March.

Source: Sex Pistols Limited Series From Danny Boyle a Go at FX | Hollywood Reporter
 

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TV Notes
On The Air

TUESDAY JAN. 12, 2021 Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid

ABC:
8PM - Movie - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kyra Sedgwick; Aldis Hodge; JP Saxe performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
(R)
9PM - FBI (R)
10PM - FBI: Most Wanted (R)
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (James Comey; Lili Reinhart )
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Liam Neeson; Pillow Queens perform)

NBC:
8PM - Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
9PM - This Is Us
10:01PM - Nurses
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Anne Hathaway; TV host Lilly Singh; Jazmine Sullivan performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Carey Mulligan; Leslie Jordan; author Neil Gaiman)
1:38AM - A Little Late With Lilly Singh (Brie Larson)

FOX:
8PM - The Resident (Season Premiere)
9PM - Prodigal Son (Season Premiere)

THE CW:
8PM - Two Sentence Horror Stories: Bag Man (Series Premiere)
8:30PM - Two Sentence Horror Stories: Elliot
9PM - Trickster (Series Premiere)

PBS:
8PM - Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Coming to America

9PM - PBS American Portrait: I Work
10PM - Frontline: United States of Conspiracy (R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Vencer el Desamor
9PM - Imperio de Mentiras
10PM - Dulce Ambición

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - El Domo del Dinero (120 min.)
9PM - Todo Por Mi Hija
10PM - Falsa Identidad


CBSSN:
7PM - College Basketball: Miami (Ohio) at Ohio (LIVE)


ESPN:

7PM - College Basketball: Wisconsin at Michigan (LIVE)
10PM - College Basketball: Alabama at Kentucky (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
7PM - College Basketball: Tennessee at Vanderbilt (LIVE)


ANIMAL PLANET:
8PM - Insane Pools: Deeper Dive (120 min.)
10PM - Treehouse Masters: Ultimate Builds (120 min.)


DISCOVERY:
8PM - Moonshiners (120 min.)
10PM - Lone Star Law: Patrol and Protect (61 min.)


HISTORY:
8PM - The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down
9PM - The Curse of Oak Island (63 min.)

10:03PM - The Proof Is Out There (Back-to-back episodes, 60 min.)

MTV:
8PM - Teen Mom 2
9PM - Catfish: The TV Show (60 min.)
* * * *
11PM - Ridiculousness: Chanel and Sterling CCLVII (30 min.)

NAT GEO:
8PM - Life Below Zero (90 min.)
9:30PM - Port Protection Alaska (Season Premiere)
10:30PM - Life Below Zero: Next Generation - Season 2 First Look (30 min.)

OWN:
8PM - The Haves and the Have Nots
9PM - Underground: Extended Edition (Back-to-back episodes, 120 min.)


TLC:
8PM - 7 Little Johnstons
9PM - My Big Fat Fabulous Life

10PM - Unpolished (Season Premiere, 60 min.)

BRAVO:
9PM - The Real Housewives of Dallas
10PM - Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (Guests TBA, 30 min.)

FOOD NETWORK:
9PM - Chopped
10PM - Supermarket Stakeout (60 min.)


HGTV:

9PM - Fixer to Fabulous
10:01PM - House Hunters

10:32PM - House Hunters International (30 min.)

ID:
9PM - Dead Silent
10PM - Murder in the Heartland (60 min.)

SCIENCE:
9PM - Unearthed: Strangest Pyramids in Egypt (120 min.)


SHOWTIME:
9PM - Inside the NFL: 2020 Playoff Week 1 (60 min.)

CMT:
10PM - Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (Season Finale, 60 min.)


CNBC:
10PM - Streets of Dreams With Marcus Lemonis (60 min.)

E!:
10PM - Celebrity Game Face (60 min.)
* * * *
11:30PM - Nightly Pop (30 min.)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (46 min.)


TBS:

11PM - Conan (Marshawn Lynch) (R)

Source: TV Listings- Find Local TV Listings and Watch Full Episodes - Zap2it.com
 

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Drama From David E. Kelley Lands Netflix Series Order; Manuel Garcia-Rulfo To Star

By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jan. 11, 2021

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has given a series order to The Lincoln Lawyer, a drama based on Michael Connelly’s series of bestselling novels, from Big Little Lies and Big Sky creator David E. Kelley and A+E Studios.

This is a new incarnation of the project, which originally was set up at CBS with a series production commitment last season. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (The Magnificent Seven) has been tapped to play the titular character in the Netflix series as it honors the story’s Latinx origins.

“I’m excited to announce that after a bit of a journey, Mickey Haller will come to life once again on screen — this time in the TV series adaptation of The Lincoln Lawyer coming to Netflix and starring the wonderful and talented Manuel Garcia-Rulfo,” Connelly said in blog post tied to the pickup.

With the casting of Mexico-born Garcia-Rulfo, Mickey Haller will stay true to the character as depicted in Connelly’s books. (In the CBS version, the role was to be played by Logan Marshall-Green; in the 2011 movie, the character was portrayed by Matthew McConaughey.)

“Manuel is the ideal Mickey Haller, who is following in the footsteps of his attorney father with the showmanship of his Mexican movie star mother,” Connelly wrote. “He brings a powerful dynamic and dimension to the role — one that aligns with the books and brings authenticity to the Latinx heritage and roots of this Los Angeles-based story.”

The 10-episode first season is based on the second book in The Lincoln Lawyer series, The Brass Verdict.

Written and executive produced by Kelley and showrunner Ted Humphrey (The Good Wife), The Lincoln Lawyer revolves around Mickey Haller (Garcia-Rulfo), an iconoclastic idealist, who runs his law practice out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car, as he takes on cases big and small across the expansive city of Los Angeles.

The Lincoln Lawyer series will be adapted to serve up the complex and mysterious arcs fans know and love with a mix of light-hearted humor and a dose of family dynamics,” Connelly said.

The creative team of the project remains the same as it was for the CBS version, with Kelley and Humphrey executive producing alongside Connelly and Ross Fineman (Goliath, Big Sky).

On-screen, two roles are being recast: Mickey and Lorna, his second ex-wife and constant confidante, who was to be played by Kiele Sanchez on CBS. A search is underway for a director.

At CBS, The Lincoln Lawyer was picked up to pilot, which was days away from starting production when the coronavirus pandemic shut down all filming in March. After CBS’ surprise May decision not to go forward with the high-profile project, A+E Studios immediately took it it out to streamers. (The show’s serialized storytelling was considered better suited for a digital platform than a traditional network.)

While different suitors were rumored, including Prime Video, which has the long-running series Bosch, centered on Mickey’s half-brother, serious conversation with Netflix started over the summer.

This marks the second series at Netflix for A+E Studios, joining WWII animated limited series The Liberator, which premiered on Veterans Day. The studio, whose slate is overseen by A+E head Barry Jossen and EVP scripted programming Tana Jamieson, also is behind breakout new ABC drama series Big Sky, also from Kelley. It is co-produced by ABC Signature.

At Netflix, Kelley also has the upcoming anthology Anatomy of a Scandal, based on Sarah Vaughan’s novel, starring Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery and Rupert Friend. Big Little Lies creator Kelley is coming off another successful limited series for HBO, The Undoing and is shepherding ABC’s Big Sky, which recently received a full-season order..

The Lincoln Lawyer reunites Garcia-Rulfo with Kelley and Fineman after he had a major recurring role on Prime Video’s Goliath, co-created/exec produced by Kelley and exec produced by Fineman. The Lincoln Lawyer and Goliath are two of the many legal series Kelley, an attorney by trade, has created/co-created. The list also includes the Emmy-winning The Practice and Ally McBeal.

Garcia-Rulfo is best known for his role as Vasquez in The Magnificent Seven remake and Gallo in Sicario: Day of the Soldado. He recently was seen in features Greyhound and 6 Underground, and his TV credits also include From Dusk to Dawn: The Series.

The Lincoln Lawyer
book series launched in 2009. The latest, sixth installment, The Law of Innocence, was published in November, seven years after the fifth novel.

“I’m thrilled to call Netflix our home,” Connelly said. “And I’m excited to bring this rich, multilayered story filled with intriguing characters and mysteries to solve to millions of viewers — both old and new fans — around the world.”

Source: Netflix Orders ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Drama Series From David E. Kelley; Manuel Garcia-Rulfo To Star – Deadline
 

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TV/Production Notes (Syndication)
How Can ‘Jeopardy!’ Replace Alex Trebek? See Game-Show History
The same producer who helped Drew Carey succeed Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right” is now working on the “Jeopardy!” succession.
By Julia Jacobs, The New York Times - Jan. 11, 2021

When Bob Barker left “The Price Is Right” after 35 years of giving out cars and vacations to Hawaii, many people wondered whether the show would survive.

For many viewers, “The Price Is Right” was not so much about guessing the cost of, say, a new dinette set as it was about Barker’s reassuringly familiar smile, his grandfatherly presence and the ease with which he explains the various games to star-struck contestants. In 2007, when he retired, there was no clear replacement.

The show auditioned several potential candidates, one of whom was Mike Richards, who was then the host of a reality show called “Beauty and the Geek.” Richards didn’t get the part. But about a year later, he would be brought in as an executive producer to help figure out how the show could thrive with its new host: the comedian Drew Carey.

Now Richards needs to engineer another successful game show succession.

“Jeopardy!” began a new era Monday without Alex Trebek, its host of 36 years, who died in November and whose last episode was broadcast Friday. And while the program will turn to a series of interim hosts at first, the task of establishing a permanent replacement will fall to Richards, now the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” He is looking back to the transition at “The Price Is Right” for clues about how to replace a beloved game show host who has built up decades of audience loyalty.

“Alex is a legend,” Richards said. “Replacing a legend is going to be nerve racking. If you’re not nervous then you’re not paying attention.”

It is something of a marvel that shows like “Jeopardy!,” whose first iteration aired in 1964, and “The Price Is Right,” whose first version started in 1956, are even around today. Both of these somewhat retro game shows have survived a technological revolution and decades of evolving pop-culture appetites. But the decisions on who should be their new faces carry high stakes: If viewers don’t like the choice, they will simply change the channel.

The key to successful new hosts, Richards said, is finding people who can play to their own strengths rather than mimicking their predecessors. That was the core of the problem that Richards identified when he was brought in to “The Price Is Right” in 2008, when ratings were suffering after Barker’s departure.
“They were trying to make Drew host Bob’s show,” Richards recalled. “And I thought it was very important that Drew host Drew’s version of ‘The Price Is Right.’”

Carey said that Barker himself had given him similar advice during the transition.

“He said, ‘Go in there and don’t try to copy me. Do the show your own way,’” Carey said in an interview. “He was right. I can’t go in and do a Bob Barker impersonation.”

But when Carey first got there, the show was still closely following the script of the Barker years.

At the top of the show, a wall with a brightly colored ’70s-esque logo would split open, revealing Carey, who was introduced as “the star of ‘The Price Is Right.’” As Barker had for decades, Carey would soak up the applause.

The formula didn’t quite work for Carey, coming off as a bit awkward. He and Richards agreed that while Barker had a self-assured, authoritative air as host, Carey’s strengths lay in his interactions with audience members and his colleagues onstage.

“I’m like a guy playing along with you or helping you up onstage and being Mr. Friendly,” Carey said of his more down-to-earth approach.

So, they changed the entrance. Carey was no longer introduced as the “star” of the show, but as its “host.” In the new formula, Carey would speed walk through the door, wave to the audience and quickly start greeting his fellow cast members onstage, including the show’s announcer, George Gray. In a 24-minute video analyzing the changing approach to the show’s opening, John Teti, a pop-culture critic, said that the camerawork in the opening sequence evolved to add in a “carnival ride motion” that has the effect of making the viewer “a little giddy.”

To give Carey more people to banter with onstage, Richards decided to provide the models with microphones, no longer relegating them to miming beside furniture sets and hot tubs. He also set out to modernize the prizes so that they would soak up a bit more of the attention: Instead of simply giving away a trip to Hawaii, for example, they’d add in something like a Ferrari rental and a night out on a yacht, Richards said.

Carey is now in his 14th year as host, and he says that he’s become so comfortable with the game play that he no longer feels like he needs to stick solely to the script. He can even imagine a future in which he surpasses Barker’s 35-year tenure, making him into the host who feels impossible to replace.

Despite his philosophy around reimagining the show in the new host’s image, Richards recognizes the inevitability of the audience comparing the next host of “Jeopardy!” to Trebek. The job won’t come without some anxiety.

So Richards is taking it slow. Instead of naming a new host right away, the show has decided to test out a number of guest hosts and see how their audience responds.

On Monday, the trial period starts with Ken Jennings, the record-breaking “Jeopardy!” contestant, who has already taped at least 30 episodes. No other guest hosts have been announced, but The Los Angeles Times reported that Katie Couric has been tapped as another temporary host. Richards said that it was not only the audience that might need time to adjust before a permanent successor to Trebek is named.

“Emotionally,” he said, “I am not ready for that.”

Source: How Can ‘Jeopardy!’ Replace Alex Trebek? - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
 
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