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"Jeopardy!" is likely naming this man you never heard of as host – apparently the job was always his

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All told, 2021 has been a miserable year for the hopeful. We hoped vaccines would brighten the light that marks the end of our pandemic tunnel, only to realize that what we were seeing was a gap between tunnels; enjoy the view while we have it.

We thought that moral arc of the universe might finally be bending back toward justice, as one of our greatest heroes once assured us. Various courts have since let us know that nope, 'twas merely a small crick against the doomsday direction in which we were previously heading. We're right back on track, don't you fret.

We thought that a fan-fueled campaign, backed by a modest amount of media support, might lead to LeVar Burton taking over as the host of "Jeopardy!," inheriting the role made iconic by the late Alex Trebek, who succumbed to cancer in November 2020.

And if it didn't go to Burton, maybe one of the women who auditioned would get it. Robin Roberts turned in a strong showing, after all. "Big Bang Theory" real-life brainiac Mayim Bialik was excellent. Of course, none of those choices seem as much as a shoo-in as "Jeopardy!" champion of champions Ken Jennings.

Naturally, when presented with the opportunity to select one of two beloved actors with solid, respectable ties to academia, or an award-winning Black female journalist, or the man who destroyed all comers in a winning streak that lasted for 74 games, Variety reports that executives at Sony Pictures Television have started "advanced negotiations" to pass Trebek's mantle to . . . Mike Richards.

No, not the guy who played Kramer on "Seinfeld." Mike Richards, the show's executive producer. The 46-year-old executive who told Broadcasting Cable back in May that they were looking for a host with a "20-year horizon and who can focus on the show and make it great over that time." Not long after that interview he must have caught his own reflection in the mirror and confidently muttered to himself, "My God . . . it's me."

This is a move straight out of Dick Cheney's playbook, or the 2011 comedy "Horrible Bosses."

According to a Variety report that broke on Wednesday, Richards is starting the process of taking over as host. On Thursday CNN's Brian Stelter seconded this, characterizing the situation........

© Salon

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