- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jennings jabs Trebek

Ken Jennings won $2.5 million during his 2004 74-game winning streak on “Jeopardy!” but he isn’t showing much gratitude toward the game show or its host, Alex Trebek, Associated Press reports.

“I know, I know, the old folks love him,” Mr. Jennings wrote of Mr. Trebek in a recent posting on his Web site titled Dear Jeopardy!

“Nobody knows he died in that fiery truck crash a few years back and was immediately replaced with the Trebektron 4000 (I see your engineers still can’t get the mustache right, by the way).”

Mr. Jennings, a software engineer from Murray, Utah, also complained of the show’s “effete, left-coast” categories and “same-old” format.

“You’re like the Dorian Gray of syndication,” he wrote. “You seem to think ‘change’ means replacing a blue polyethylene backdrop with a slightly different shade of blue polyethylene backdrop every presidential election or so.”

In a “correction” on his Web site, Mr. Jennings offered an apology of sorts: “We regret the insinuation that Mr. Alex Trebek is a robot, and has been since 2004. Mr. Trebek’s robotic frame does still contain some organic parts, many harvested from patriotic Canadian schoolchildren, so this technically makes him a ‘cyborg,’ not a ‘robot.’”

Diggs’ dig

Taye Diggs offered bored writers on the Television Critics Association press tour some comedy relief.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t intentional.

The actor became frustrated by critics asking pointed questions about his new ABC series, “Day Break,” Zap2It.com reports. The show, premiering in late fall, is a cross between the movies “Groundhog Day” and “Training Day,” with a police officer accused of murder reliving the day until he finds out who framed him.

“We’re not dumb,” Mr. Diggs said in response to questions about problems with the concept. “I’m Taye Diggs. I wouldn’t sign on for that.”

Mr. Diggs, an original cast member of Broadway’s “Rent,” also co-starred in the flopped film adaptation of the musical and had the title role in the failed UPN drama “Kevin Hill.”

Uncut’ gets cut

“BET Uncut,” the compilation of racy videos that drew protests while it kept fans awake late at night, has been canceled after five years, AP reports. The show’s last episode aired July 7, BET said.

“BET Uncut,” seen Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3 a.m., showcased videos considered too risque to be shown at other times. However, the format upset some viewers, who complained that many of the videos — which regularly showed obscured nudity and women gyrating with sexual overtones — were degrading to women. One video by Nelly featured the rapper swiping a credit card between a woman’s buttocks.

BET spokesman Michael Lewellen says protests about the content had nothing to do with its cancellation. “Uncut” had angered some people since its inception, but it also had a loyal fan base, and some are petitioning to see the series restored, he said.

BET will fill the time slot with reruns or syndicated sitcoms.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from Web and wire reports

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