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Jean Trebek: 5 Things To Know About ‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek’s Loving Wife

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As Alex Trebek continues to beat the odds while fighting stage IV pancreatic cancer, he has Jean Trebek, his wife of thirty years, by his side every step of the way. Here’s what you need to know about Alex’s better half.

Tell any Jeopardy fans this – “She’s been the devoted wife of Alex Trebek for thirty years, and was one of the first to spot the game show host’s cancer” – and they’ll answer, “Who is Jean Trebek?” Now, one year after announcing that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, Jean, 56, has shared some insight on her 80-year-old husband’s battle in a new essay for Guideposts, a spiritual publication. “We’d gone to Israel to visit the sites of the Holy Land in December 2018,” writes Jean. “We’d finished dinner one night, and I looked across the table at Alex. His coloring seemed off. ‘You feeling okay?’ I asked.”

He wasn’t. “Later, back home in California,” she writes, “things were still not right. His doctor ran some tests, then some more. We weren’t so worried that we canceled a trip to New York. It was there, in our hotel, that we got a call from his doctor. “We need to see you as soon as you get back from your trip. We have some concerns.” Those concerns turned out to be a terrifying reality. Since then, she has been helping him in his fight. While Alex has been able to buck the odds and survive stage IV cancer for over a year, Jean says there are days when she feels “really sad and angry.”

“Then I’ll say, ‘That’s enough, Jean.’ I’ll try to do something for someone else to pull myself out of it. Not just for Alex but for one of our friends,” she wrote. Through her positivity, her dedication, her love, and her faith, Jean has been able to find “joy” in these times. As she continues to enjoy every moment with her husband, here’s the scoop on the woman who captured Alex Trebek’s heart.

Jean and Alex Trebek arrive at the 19th annual “Taste For A Cure” at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in 2014. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)

1. Jean has been married to Alex for 30 years. Alex and Jean reportedly meat at a party in 1988, according to People, and instantly hit it off. They got on so well that two years later, they were married, despite the 24-year age difference between them. Over the past three decades, Alex and Jean welcomed two children – Matthew and Emily. Alex was previously married to Elaine Trebek, but the two divorced in 1981 (he adopted Elaine’s daughter, Nicky, while they were still together.

Alex proposed to Jean on her 26th birthday. At first, he gifted her a bolero jacket and a pair of black velvet pants. “I thought that was it,” she told People. “Then he said, ‘Here’s a little something else,’ and he took out this little wicker box.” It was a ring with a 16-carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds. “It took my breath away. I mean, it was a rock.”

Alex Trebek poses with his wife, Jean, on the stern of the yacht “Jacana” on July 2, 1990, in New York. (AP Photo/Ed Bailey)

2. Jean lost her brother over 35 years ago. “I’d grown up on the East Coast,” Jean wrote in her Guideposts essay, “in a tight-knit Catholic family on Long Island.” She says she had an older brother named Chris and a younger sister named Audrey. “I moved to California to go to Pepperdine University. College was exciting, but it was so hard being away from everything I’d known. Chris was a year and a half older than me, and I looked after him. We were inseparable. Like Frick and Frack, my mom said.”

“We went to school together, and I promised my parents that I would watch out for him. Sometimes I would even leave my classroom to go check on him. I took care of my brother, and it felt like a gift rather than a burden,” she wrote. Tragically, her brother was killed in a car accident on Dec. 7, 1984. “The worst day of my life,” she wrote.

3. She didn’t know who Alex was when she first met him. After leaving Pepperdine, Jean remained on the West Coast, “trying to recover from a tragedy I never thought I’d get over,” she writes in Guideposts. She was working part-time, doing “bookkeeping for a guy in Malibu.” One of her boss’s friends was a certain television game show host. “He’d come over every Saturday to play backgammon and have lunch. I knew that he was on some TV show, but he never said much about it, and I didn’t ask.” She later called her mother to tell her that she “met this nice guy,” to which her mom said, “Don’t you know who he is? … He’s the host of that game show Jeopardy!”

4. Alex’s wife is a healer and deeply spiritual. Jean is a “professional sound healer” and a Reiki master, according to Newsweek. Reiki, according to Reiki.org, is “a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.” She is also reportedly a practitioner of Religious Science.

5. She also runs a lifestyle blog. Jean is the creator of InsideWink.com, a “lifestyle website, and my blog on the site is a way to share our journey with others,” she wrote on Guidepost. She has interviewed “actors, spiritual leaders, others who have made a difference.” The slogan at her sight has become a mantra during her husband’s battle: “share the good.”

“We go on little walks together, if he’s up to it,” says Jean, about Alex. “We eat dinner together. We watch comedies and movies on TV. Or we’ll sit in the swing in our backyard and sway to and fro, feeling the warmth of the sun, gazing at the flowers or up at the sky, knowing we are loved.”

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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