Jeopardy! Down, ET Up

King World Productions’ Jeopardy! went into summer repeats, plunging the show’s ratings into a nose dive in the week ended Aug. 1.

Without supercontestant Ken Jennings, the show fell 38% week-to-week to a 6.0, its second-lowest weekly rating of the season, a dropoff of approximately 5.6 million viewers. Jennings, who has won more than $1.3 million in 38 straight games, is on deck to continue his winning streak when Jeopardy! returns in originals on Sept. 6.

King World’s Wheel of Fortune, paired with Jeopardy! in many major markets, skidded 14% to a 7.3. That is Wheel’s second-worst number of the season, but it was good enough to retake the top ratings spot among all syndicated shows for the first time in four weeks. Jeopardy!, which had been the highest-rated show for the past four weeks, slipped to third overall, behind Wheel and King World’s off-net sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

Most other game shows and first-run shows in access were lower, due to disruptions caused by the four days of broadcast and cable coverage of the Democratic National Convention July 26-29.

Buena Vista’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was down 5% to a 3.6. Tribune’s Family Feud bucked the trend, rising 5% to a 2.2. Sony’s Pyramid, which has not been renewed for next season, lost 11% to a 1.7. King World’s Hollywood Squares, also not returning, sank 17% to a 1.5.

Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight remained the No. 1 magazine despite dipping 2% to a 4.3. King World’s Inside Edition dropped 6% to a 3.1. NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood slid 4% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ Extra! tumbled 9% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ Celebrity Justice was unchanged at a 1.2.

Elsewhere in first-run, talk shows had the most ratings juice, with three of the top five gabbers moving up. King World’s Dr. Phil, the second-highest-rated talker, was up 5% to a 4.0. Also gaining ground were NBC Universal’s Maury, up 3% to a 3.0, and Paramount’s Montel Williams, climbing 4% to a 2.4.

In the loss column, King World’s top-rated The Oprah Winfrey Show fell 8% to a 5.6, and Buena Vista’s Live With Regis and Kelly, slipped 3% to a 3.3 in third place.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.