Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, syndication’s two longest-running and most-watched shows, have been renewed on the ABC Owned Stations for five more seasons, said Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, on Wednesday.
The deal takes both programs through the 2027-28 TV season, which will be Jeopardy!’s 44th and Wheel of Fortune’s 45th season. Both shows are produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed by CBS Media Ventures.
“Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are the crown jewels of syndication, drawing larger audiences than almost every prime-time broadcast show,” LoCascio said in a statement. “This new deal is a testament to the power of these shows and the power of broadcast television. Viewers and advertisers alike love these shows, and we are excited that this deal continues the legacy of these brands for years to come.”
“We are delighted to continue to work alongside our great partners at ABC and CBS to bring two of the most iconic game shows in the world to loyal fans across the nation,” said Suzanne Prete, executive VP of game shows, Sony Pictures Television, also in a statement. “The ABC stations have added incredible value to the Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! franchises, and we couldn’t be happier to continue our long relationship with them.”
Over the past couple of years, Jeopardy! has been through a sort of evolution after the passing of iconic host Alex Trebek in November 2020 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
Since Trebek’s death, the show has been hosted first by a series of guest hosts and now officially by Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik, who split their time on the show. Jennings is considered Jeopardy!’s greatest player of all time -- and actually won a primetime tournament on ABC in 2020 confirming that -- and now is a consulting producer and host. Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, also stars on Fox’s Call Me Kat after years on CBS’ hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory.
On Wednesday, ABC announced that it had picked up a new spinoff of Jeopardy!, Jeopardy! Masters, which will be hosted by Jennings and feature several players who have become notable names in recent years by winning big money. The players are Matt Amodio, Sam Buttrey, Andrew He, James Holzhauer, Mattea Roach and Amy Schneider. Creating such iterations of Jeopardy! for primetime is part of the brand expansion strategy created by SPT and executive producer Michael Davies, who became the show’s permanent EP in 2021.
Wheel of Fortune has been hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White since 1981 and 1982, respectively.
Jeopardy! is syndication’s most-watched and top-rated show, averaging 9 million viewers weekly, while Wheel of Fortune is the second most-watched, averaging 8.3 million viewers weekly. In the most recent week of national ratings ended Sunday, January 1, Jeopardy! averaged a 5.2 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen, while Wheel of Fortune averaged a 4.8. ■
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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.
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