Syndication Ratings: ‘Jeopardy!’ Jumps With Fox Sports' Joe Buck

Jeopardy!'s ratings popped back up in week ended August 15 with Joe Buck guest hosting.
'Jeopardy!''s ratings popped back up in week ended August 15 with Joe Buck guest hosting. (Image credit: Sony Pictures Television/Jeopardy!)

Jeopardy! ratings leaped 16% in the week ending August 15, the first week after the conclusion of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. 

With sportscaster Joe Buck at the podium, CBS Media VenturesJeopardy! improved from the prior week, which featured CNBC’s David Faber as guest host, to a 13-week high 5.2 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen. 

That marked Jeopardy!’s strongest performance since the week of May 10, when CBS News’ Bill Whitaker was guest hosting, and an 18% improvement over the same week last year, when the late Alex Trebek was still leading the show. Jeopardy!, which is produced by Sony Pictures Television, showed the biggest year-to-year increase of any strip of any kind.

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Syndication ratings surged across the board, despite the continuation of low summer levels of people using television; numerous preemptions on Fox stations for the “Field of Dreams” baseball game on August 12; and preemptions on network affiliates for coverage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation on Aug. 10. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud forged ahead 6% to a 5.4 to lead the games and all of syndication. Feud is on track to be syndication’s season leader in households when the Nielsen-designated TV season ends on Aug. 29. CBS’s Wheel of Fortune recovered 15% to a 4.5, which was that show’s season low prior to the Summer Games.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less added 14% to a 0.8. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask answered with a 0.4 for a third consecutive week.

Disney’s internet video show RightThis Minute moved up 20% to a 0.6.

CBS’ Inside Edition rebounded 22% to a 2.2 to lead the magazines, followed by sister show Entertainment Tonight, which expanded 24% to an 11-week high 2.1. 

Without Olympics preemptions, NBCU’s Access Hollywood leaped over three shows to reclaim its customary third-place slot in the genre, surging 100% to a 0.8. Access Hollywood, which has numerous clearances on NBC stations, had been decimated by Olympic programming in the prior two weeks. 

Warner Bros.’ TMZ stood pat at a 0.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra, which lost its time slot in many markets due to Fox’s airing of the Field of Dreams baseball game on August 12, still strengthened 20% to a 0.6, tying CBS’ DailyMailTV, which stayed put for a second straight week.

Fox’s Dish Nation increased 50% to land at a 0.3 for the 48th time in the past 50 weeks. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan rose 6% to a 1.7 and scored its 14th straight first-place finish in the talk-show race, including one tie with CBS’ Dr. Phil. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live led with a 0.7, followed by Phil at a 0.5.

Phil stayed in second place with an all-repeat week, gaining 8% for the week and 17% over the past two weeks to a 1.4 in households.

Without facing Olympics competition, repeats of NBCU’s Kelly Clarkson and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres both exploded 100% to a 0.8, tying NBCU’s Maury, which was flat, and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which climbed 14% even though the show is in repeats due to being in its summer production hiatus.

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Disney’s Tamron Hall added 17% to a 0.7, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and CBS’ Rachael Ray, both of which also rose 17%. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz revived 50% to a 0.6. 

Encore episodes of CBS’s Drew Barrymore retained a 0.4. Warner Bros.‘ The Real registered a 0.3 for the 13th consecutive week. CBS’s The Doctors operated at a 0.2 for the 25th week in a row, tying NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer, which stayed at a 0.2 for the 49th straight week. 

CBS’s Judge Judy, nearing the end of its last season in first-run production at CBS, jumped 7% to a 4.6 to lead the courts. Judy also was syndication’s third-highest rated show overall, despite being mostly in repeats.

CBS’s Hot Bench also spiked 7%, clocking a 1.5, making it daytime’s third highest-rated daytime show after Judy and Live.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis both maintained a 0.8 and 0.6, respectively. NBCU’s Judge Jerry declined 17% to a 0.5, tying Fox’s Divorce Court, which stayed put for a third consecutive week. Repeats of Trifecta’s Protection Court stayed at a 0.2 for a seventh straight week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory softened 5% to a 2.1, equalling its series low but still leading the off-network sitcoms. Disney’s Last Man Standing stepped up 7% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men improved 11% to a 1.0. Disney’s Modern Family finished 13% higher at a 0.9. Disney’s Family Guy grew 14% to a 0.8, tying SPT’s The Goldbergs and Seinfeld, both of which stayed put. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls accrued 17% to a 0.7, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, which held steady. Debmar-Mercury’s newcomer Schitt’s Creek climbed 20% to a 0.6, tying Disney’s Black-ish and Warner Bros.’ Mom, both of which were on par with the prior week.

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.