May 19, 2022

The Highest and Lowest Ratings in Jeopardy! Hosts; Nets, Irving fined $35,000 for Refusal to Speak with Reporters; Pfizer, Moderna Shares Dip; Concerts Returning to Chicago; Special Olympics Chicago in Dunbar Park

The Highest and Lowest Ratings in Jeopardy! Guest Hosts

This year, ‘Jeopardy!’ has had seven guest hosts who had tried their knack at hosting the famous game show. Since November 2020, when Alex Trebek’s died, seven people have been invited as guests to host “Jeopardy!, giving the fans a different view of the well-loved TV show. Among the invited were TV personalities, former champions, and athletes. At least nine more personalities will be joining the list of hosts until August.

Among the seven guest hosts, the highest and lowest ratings on TV viewership were released. According to Hollywood Reporter, the ratings are determined by Nielsen, which calculated them based on a sample of 40,000 homes and about 100,000 people that are demographically representative of the population as a whole. A rating shows the percentage of that group that was tuned in to the program.

Ken Jennings, has emerged as the guest host champion, as he was also the most successful contestant in “Jeopardy!” history. Next TV reported that Jenning’s first week hosting the show in January led to a 6.2 rating from Nielsen. Sports Illustrated reported that Jennings averaged a 6.0 over his six weeks hosting the show from January 11 to February 19.

Mike Richards hosted following Jennings and maintained the strong ratings. Richards is an executive producer of the show. The Wrap reported that he had an average 5.9 in rating.

Aaron Rodgers, a Green Bay Packers quarterback, garnered a lot of social media positive feedback from his two-week hosting stint in April, backed up by his TV ratings. According to TV News Check, he had a rating of 5.6 his first week, followed by a 5.5 the second.

TV journalist Katie Couric received an average rating of 5.5, similar to Rodgers.

The two lowest ratings were recorded for Dr. Oz and Anderson Cooper.

Dr. Oz’s received strong disapprovals from former game show contestants, who signed a petition against the controversial television doctor from hosting the show. Decider reported that Dr. Oz’s average rating was 5.1 over his two weeks on the show.

Anderson Cooper, a CNN Television host, received a rating of 5.1. It is the lowest debut rating among the seven guest hosts, The Wrap reported.

Kyrie Irving, Nets fined $35,000 for Refusal to Speak with Reporters

The Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving were fined $35,000 each after their repeated refusal to speak with the media in postgame interview sessions. The NBA fined both the team and Irving on Wednesday for repeatedly violating league rules regarding media access. The league said Irving did not want to participate in team postgame media availability, an event that NBA players are expected and required to be part of.

This violation is the second incident this season that Irving has been fined for not complying with the NBA’s media guidelines. In December, Irving was fined $25,000 for refusing to speak to the media during media week of the training camp. Irving issued a statement rather than personally speaking to the reporters to ensure that his message is conveyed correctly. However, it seemed that he plans to avoid the media all season.

“I don’t talk to Pawns. My attention is worth more,” Irving wrote on Instagram after the fine was issued. Several days later, he addressed the reporters while claiming that the media boycott was intended so that he could focus on basketball.

The NBA rules require that players be available upon request to reporters before or after every game when they are physically able to do so. Irving, on several occasions, has declined to be available in a news conference throughout the season. Tuesday night was the most recent incident, where Irving declined several interview requests, including from ESPN, to face the reporters after the Nets’ 124-118 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I pray we utilize the ‘fine money’ for the marginalized communities in need, especially seeing where our world is presently. I am here for Peace, Love, and Greatness. So stop distracting me and my team, and appreciate the Art. We move differently over here.” Irving wrote on his Social Media.

Also, within this season, Irving was issued another fine of $50,000 for violating the league’s health, and safety protocols after a video of him attending a crowded indoor gathering had surfaced.

Pfizer, Moderna Shares Dip as Biden Administration Supports COVID-19 Vaccine Patent Waiver

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced Wednesday that the United States would advocate for waiving COVID-19 vaccine patent protections in discussions with the World Trade Organization. The announcement came as coronavirus infections reached their highest levels in countries that have struggled to secure and distribute vaccines. Such a waiver will remove barriers to the production of vaccines in developing countries.

“The Biden administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but the White House will back the waiver given the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tai said in a statement. The administration has faced pressure to support the measure, which aims to increase vaccinations around the world, especially in countries experiencing a surge in infections, like India, without having to rely solely on exports.

Shortly after Tai’s announcement, stocks of pharmaceutical companies that produced vaccines had fallen, including Moderna and Pfizer.

In the premarket trading, Pfizer and Moderna are respectively down 3.45% and 3.19%.

The German manufacturers, BioNTech and CureVac, are down 16.9% and 15.49%, respectively.

The European Union also signaled its willingness to discuss the U.S. proposal to waive various intellectual property protections on the vaccine to increase global supplies. The E.U. is home to several pharmaceutical heavyweights. Intellectual property rights are frequently featured in trade discussions, but calls for relaxing them during the COVID-19 pandemic echo the significant international disputes over HIV medication in the 90s.

It is not yet clear if the protections will be waived since all 164 members of the World Trade Organization will need to agree on the matter. The Organization is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the proposals. The pressure is now growing on other wealthy nations to support the effort of the U.S. to waive the patent protection of the vaccines.

The companies tend to vigorously oppose any efforts to do away with intellectual property rights, arguing that the incentive is little to none for them to undertake the expensive task of developing and bringing drugs to market without the money patents bring in.

Festivals, Concerts, Events are Returning to Chicago in Summer

On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that events would be allowed to return in the summer as part of the “Open Culture” phase of the City’s reopening plans. The announcement came one day after Lightfoot announced the goal of fully reopening the City by July 4 and the return of the Chicago Auto Show.

“First to close. Last to open. That’s been the fate of too many of our arts and culture music venues. And today, I’m happy to announce that it is finally starting to change. They are the rewards for our persistence over this last year. Your commitment. Your dedication. Your sacrifice,” Lightfoot said.

The City outlined dozens of events scheduled to come back to Chicago over the coming weeks and months, from the Grant Park Music Festival to open-air yoga in Millennium Park. City proposes to bring mobile vaccination units to the events but a vaccination will not be required in order to attend these events.

“We can’t wait to safely welcome audiences back this summer to one of the first major live music events at the Pritzker Pavilion since September 2019,” said Paul Winberg of the Grant Park Music Festival.

“We’ve all had just a tough year, and I think it brings back some hope to us that we can start to have some joy again,” said Anne Giffels, chair of the 2021 Old Town Art Fair.

The July 2 Independence Day celebration concert will mark the return of the events. Included in the list of mentioned events are Taste of Chicago-To-Go, Grant Park Music Festival, Old Town Art Fair, Pride in the Park, Chicago SummerDance, Printers Row Lit Fest, Chinatown Summer Fair, and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. City officials also announced a new, month-long citywide music festival called Chicago In Tune.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is in the process of reviewing the applications for outdoor festivals, street fairs, craft fairs, and sporting events. More events will be included in he list as more applications are approved.

Special Olympics Chicago Takes Place in Dunbar Park

The Special Olympics is being held at the Dunbar Park in Bronzeville, instead of its regular venue near Soldier Field. Following the COVID-19 guidelines, the event was scaled back to a smaller setting. The athletes and spectators are eager to participate in the in-person event after being sidelined last year due to the pandemic. The games are returning this year in a modified format.

On May 3, the opening ceremonies were held virtually. The in-person track and field events are scheduled to occur at Dunbar Park, 2900 S. Calumet Ave., from Tuesday, May 4, through Thursday, May 6, and the closing ceremonies will be held virtually on Friday, May 7.

Up to 100 athletes compete each day, instead of the usual thousands of athletes competing over three days. Cardboard cutouts of the faces of famous people were placed in the stands to make the event’s venue more exciting and engaging to the special athletes.

“It was really hard for them not to do any of the activities or participate in Special Olympics,” said Ann Schoenecker, mother of a Special Olympian. Thomas, Schoenecker’s son, competes in the softball throw.

“To be locked up for a year, it’s exciting to be out with the rest of the athletes. Aidan was looking forward to competing today.” Pat Fallon said. Fallon’s son, Aidan, has been an Olympic powerlifter for 15 years. He won a medal this year.

“We’re so excited we could provide this because the idea that they couldn’t see each other anymore. It’s hard to keep saying we don’t know; we don’t know. They still get to come out and experience everything they love about the Special Olympics. The competition, the friends, the camaraderie,” said Heather Kundert of Special Olympics Chicago.

The Special Olympics was funded by the money raised from the virtual event Polar Plunge earlier this year. The event raised $1 million. The community was generous with the financial support even when the event had to be scaled back.