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Syndication Ratings: ‘Jeopardy!’ Jumps but Not Over ‘Family Feud’

Matt Amodio, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, has surpassed $1 million with his 28th 'Jeopardy!' victory.
Matt Amodio, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, has surpassed $1 million with his 28th 'Jeopardy!' victory. (Image credit: Sony Pictures Television/'Jeopardy!')

Jeopardy! began and ended the brief run of the disgraced Mike Richards as host in the week ended Sept. 19, as it rolled out season 38 with a 24% weekly increase to a 5.1 live plus same household rating, according to Nielsen. 

Less than two weeks after Richards recorded his episodes, he was ousted both as host and as executive producer of CBS Media Ventures’ Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, both of which are produced by Sony Pictures Television. 

Also Read: Mike Richards Out as EP of 'Jeopardy!,' 'Wheel of Fortune'

Besides people possibly wanting to check out Richards’ short-lived stint in the spotlight, Jeopardy!’s ratings also were boosted by the performance of Matt Amodio, a Ph. D. student at Yale. Amodio is currently the third biggest regular-season money winner in Jeopardy! history behind only Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer with more than $1 million in winnings so far.

Also Read: Matt Amodio Surpasses $1 Million on 'Jeopardy!'

Jeopardy!’s ratings jump was not enough to topple Debmar-Mercury’s game and syndication leader Family Feud, however, even though Feud fell back 5% to a 5.3. Wheel of Fortune sped up 17% to a 4.8 with its season premiere.

Amid rising ratings across the board, the 2021/22 season began for most but not all syndicated shows on Monday, Sept. 13.

Fox’s new game show — You Bet Your Life starring Jay Leno — debuted at a 0.7, tying Fox’s 25 Words or Less, which declined 13%.

Entertainment Studios' Funny You Should Ask remained at a 0.4. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute held at a 0.6 for a sixth straight week.

In daytime, CBS’s Dr. Phil forged ahead 21% with its 20th season debut to a 1.7, tying Disney’s usual leader Live with Kelly and Ryan for first place in talk. Live, which debuted on Sept. 6 with a garden party in the verdant back yard of executive producer Michael Gelman’s Long Island home, stayed put.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live led with a 0.6, followed by Dr. Phil at a 0.5 and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres and NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson at a 0.4. 

Back in households, Ellen surged 25% with its 19th and final season opener to a 14-week high 1.0. Over the prior two weeks, Ellen’s ratings ratcheted up 43%. 

Kelly Clarkson, opening season three, clocked its highest ratings since the week of May 24 with a 13% increase to a 0.9.

NBCU’s Maury tumbled 20% to a 0.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, CBS’ Rachael Ray and ABC’s Tamron Hall all held their ground at a 0.7.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Sony’s Dr. Oz both stood pat at a 0.6.

CBS’ Drew Barrymore bowed its sophomore season with a week of episodes shot outdoors on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles and strengthened 25% to a 0.5. 

The third season of NBCU’s out-of-production syndication version of Jerry Springer skidded 25% to a 0.3, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which remained at a 0.3 for the 30th straight week. CBS’ The Doctors delivered a 0.2 for the 30th straight week

CBS’ Judge Judy, now out of first-run production and in repeats in broadcast syndication, relinquished 2% to a 4.5 to lead both daytime and the courts. 

CBS’ Hot Bench warmed up for its eighth-season premiere, adding 7% to a 16-week high 1.6. 

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court stayed at a 0.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was minus 14% to a 0.6, matching its series low. NBCU’s Judge Jerry plummeted 20% to a new series-low 0.4, tying Fox’s Divorce Court, which did not appear on the chart in the prior week. 

Magazines were all steady to higher despite some preemptions for ABC’s Monday Night Football on Sept. 13. 

CBS’ Entertainment Tonight grew 17% to a 2.1 with a brand-new set for its 41st season premiere. That tied sibling series Inside Edition, which added 11%.

NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Fox’s TMZ, Warner Bros.’ Extra and CBS’ DailyMailTV were all on par with the prior week’s 0.8, 0.7, 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.

Also Read: TMZ Acquired by Fox Entertainment

Fox’s Dish Nation served up a 0.3 for the 53rd ltime in the past 55 weeks.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory heated up 5% to remain the off-network sitcom leader at a 2.2. Disney’s Last Man Standing slipped 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men maintained a 0.9. Disney’s Modern Family and Sony’s The Goldbergs both fell 11% to a 0.8, tying Disney’s Family Guy, which grew 14%. Sony’s Seinfeld sagged 13% to a 0.7. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly faded 14% to a 0.6, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls and Disney’s Black-ish, both of which stayed put.

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.