Syndication Ratings: 'Jeopardy!' Leads After Death of Host Alex Trebek

The answer is it became syndication’s highest rated show in the first week following the death of its beloved host. The question: What is Jeopardy!?

Alex Trebek

'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek died Nov. 8 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. (Image credit: Jeopardy! Productions Inc.)

Besides CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy!, syndies rebounded in the week ended Nov. 15 after a week of preemptions for election coverage.

Following the passing of Alex Trebek on Nov. 8 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, the long- running game show surged 22% from the prior frame to a new season-high 6.0 live plus same day national household rating according to Nielsen Media Research to lead all of syndication. It was the first time Jeopardy! topped syndication since the week ended June 7. 

Debmar-Mercury’s usual top game Family Feud forwarded 6% to a 5.6. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which is paired with Jeopardy! in many top markets, accelerated 10% to a new season- high 5.5.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less, which the Fox Television Stations just renewed for two more years, rebounded 13% to a 0.9. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask replied with a 0.4 for a fourth straight week.

Related: Fox TV Stations Renew Three Shows for Two More Years

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute improved 17% to a 0.7.

The top-three magazines all hit new season bests. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight shot up 19% to a 2.5 to tie sister show Inside Edition, which perked up 14% for the lead. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood scored its best numbers since the week ending July 26 and the biggest percentage gain in the top six, spiking 22% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, Warner Bros’ Extra and CTD’s DailyMailTV held their ground at 0.8, 0.7 and 0.6, respectively.

Fox’s Dish Nation, also renewed for two more years, remained at a 0.3, tying Trifecta’s Celebrity Page, which added 50% to a 0.3 from a 0.2.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan remained the top talker with an 11% increase to a new season-high 2.0, tying CTD’s Dr. Phil, which improved 18%. Live has now been first or tied for first in seven of the past ten weeks. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live was first in talk at a 0.9. 

Back in households, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was unchanged at a 1.2 in third place.

NBCU’s sophomore Kelly Clarkson climbed 11% to a 1.0, matching its season high and tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which rose 11% to a new season high and conflict talker Maury, which added 11%.

Disney’s sophomore Tamron Hall rose 29% to a 0.9 and equalling its season high. Tamron also improved 33% among women 25-54 to a 0.4, matching Clarkson, Wendy and Wilkos in the key demo. CTD’s Rachael Ray recovered 13% to a 0.9, tying Tamron

Related: Disney/ABC Renews ‘Tamron Hall’ for Season 3

Wilkos weakened 11% to a 0.8, matching its previous series low.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz revived 17% to a 0.7 after tying its series low in the prior week. Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and the out-of-production syndicated run of NBCU’s Jerry Springer all held steady at a 0.4, 0.3 and 0.2, respectively, with The Doctors and Springer holding at series lows.

CTD’s rookie talker Drew Barrymore held steady at a 0.5.

CTD’s Judge Judy led the courts and matched its season high with a 9% jump to a 5.9 and taking second place in overall syndication. Season to date, Judy leads syndication in households with a 5.6.

CTD’s Hot Bench barrelled ahead 6% to a 1.7, equaling its season best. 

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis and NBCU’s Judge Jerry all were on par with the prior week’s 1.1, 0.8 and 0.7, respectively. Fox’s Divorce Court improved 17% increase to a 0.7, tying Jerry. Trifecta’s Protection Court was unchanged at a 0.3.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory made some noise with an 8% jump to lead the off-network sitcoms at a 2.7. Disney’s Last Man Standing vaulted 11% to a new season-high 2.0. Disney’s Modern Family finished 9% higher at a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men marshalled a 10% increase to a 1.1. SPT’s The Goldbergs stayed at a 1.0, tying Disney’s Family Guy, which grew 11% to a 1.0. SPT’s Seinfeld strengthened 13% to a 0.9. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved up 14% to a 0.8. Finally, Disney’s black-ish and Warner Bros.’ Mom stayed put at a 0.7, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which gained 17% to a 0.7.

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.