And our final question of the day: Who is Matt Lauer?
I’m sorry. “Host of NBC’s The Today Show,” though technically correct, is not the answer we are seeking. The answer we are seeking is “leading candidate to replace long-serving (28 1/2 years) Jeopardy emcee Alex Trebek.”
The imperturbable Trebek, 72, suffered a mild heart attack last June, and is said to be contemplating retirement, when his current contract expires in 2016. Lauer’s own contract ($25-million a year) with The Today Show comes due in 2015, but, given its sagging ratings, is not expected to be renewed.
The short list of other potential successors to Trebek, as reported at The Atlantic Wire, among others, is rumoured to include CNN’s Anderson Cooper (a three-time Jeopardy contestant), NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and sports guru Dan Patrick.
But surely Jeopardy’s owners, Sony Pictures Television, should seize Trebek’s exodus as an opportunity and reimagine the show. Instead of a single Trebekkian host, why not experiment with multiple emcees, including women (conspicuously absent from the current list)?
Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Bernhardt, Tina Fey, Wendy Liebman – any one of these talents would inject some badly needed levity into the proceedings, and boost viewership (admittedly not exactly suffering).