Syndication Ratings: ‘Jeopardy!’ Leads With Ken Jennings at Podium

Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings is game show's first guest host after the death of Alex Trebek.
'Jeopardy!' GOAT Ken Jennings is game show's first guest host after the death of Alex Trebek. (Image credit: Jeopardy!)

Jeopardy! great Ken Jennings’ first week of guest-hosting drove CBS Media Venture’s Jeopardy! to a weekly overall syndicated win in the week ending Jan. 17.

Although the show declined by 6% from the prior week, when Alex Trebek’s last five episodes aired, Jeopardy! still topped syndication and the games with a 6.2 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Also Read: ‘Jeopardy! Jumps as Final Trebek Episodes Air

Jeopardy! stablemate Wheel of Fortune eased 3% to a 5.8, but took second place among the games and all of syndication, edging out frequent leader Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud even though that strengthened 6% to a 5.4 and tied CMV’s court leader Judge Judy for third in overall syndication.

Fox’s sophomore 25 Words or Less, starring and executive produced by Meredith Vieira, remained at its series-low 0.8 for the fourth time in five weeks, while Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask stayed at a 0.4 for the fifth time in six weeks.

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute recovered 17% from its series low to a 0.7 for the fifth time in seven weeks. 

CMV’s Inside Edition eroded 4% to a 2.4 but remained the magazine leader, while sister show Entertainment Tonight fell 4% to a 2.2. NBCU’s Access Hollywood; Warner Bros.’ TMZ; Warner Bros.’ Extra, at its season high; CMV’s DailyMailTV and Fox’s Dish Nation all held steady at a 1.0, 0.8, 0.7, 0.6 and 0.3, respectively. 

Daytime saw heavy preemptions for news coverage, with Congress debating President Trump’s second impeachment on Jan. 13 and President-elect Joe Biden sharing details of his COVID-19 relief proposal on Jan. 14. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which had to include the low-rated Jan. 13 in its weekly ratings average, relinquished 10% to a 1.8 but still tied CMV’s Dr. Phil, which was steady, for first place in talk. Live has now been first or tied for first in talk for 15 of the past 19 weeks. 

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live led with a 0.7.

NBCU’s sophomore Kelly Clarkson, which has been either third or tied for third in talk five times in the past six weeks, hung tough at a 1.0, tying veterans NBCU’s Maury, which was unchanged, and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which added 11%. Ellen returned to originals for at least part of the week after a long production layoff due to DeGeneres contracting COVID-19.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams and CTD’s Rachael Ray each remained at a 0.9, which was the second straight week for Wendy at that level and the 10th straight week for Rachael.

Disney’s sophomore Tamron Hall also couldn’t exclude the heavily preempted Jan. 13 from its weekly ratings average and stayed at a 0.8, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which rebounded 14% from its series low.

SPT’s Dr. Oz held at a 0.7 for the eighth time in ten weeks. 

CTD’s rookie talker Drew Barrymore held steady at a 0.5 for the third straight week.

Warner Bros.’ The Real, CMV’s The Doctors and NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated version of Jerry Springer all were in line with their previous week’s 0.4, 0.2 and 0.2, respectively. CMV’s The Doctors stayed its series low for the fifth straight week, while Springer has been at its series low for 19 weeks. 

Court leader Judge Judy was preempted by the Jan. 13 impeachment debate in numerous markets, including top market New York, and gave back 4% to a 5.4. 

CMV’s Hot Bench was steady at a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court declined 10% to a 0.9, equalling its series low. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sustained a 0.7 for a second week and the third time in four weeks, tying NBCU’s Judge Jerry, which recovered 17% to hit a 0.7 for the fourth time in six week. Fox’s Divorce Court settled for unchanged 0.6 for the seventh time in eight weeks. Trifecta’s Protection Court sagged 33% to a new season low 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-network sitcoms even though it backed off 4% to a 2.6. Disney’s Last Man Standing jumped 12% to a 1.9. Disney’s Modern Family faded 8% to a 1.2.

Also Read: ‘Modern Family’ Streaming Rights to be Shared by Peacock, Hulu

Warner Bros.’ Two and Half Men dropped 9% to a 1.0, tying SPT’s The Goldbergs and Disney’s Family Guy, both of which were steady. SPT’s Seinfeld improved 13% to a 0.9. Warner Bros.’ trio of 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly and Mom all were on par with their prior week’s 0.8, 0.8 and 0.7, respectively.

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.