Alex Trebek went out on top, just like he deserved. Trebek’s final week of “Jeopardy!” episodes finished No. 1 in all of syndication, with TV ratings up 29% from the prior week.
For the session ending Jan. 10, “Jeopardy’s” 6.6 rating bested second-place “Wheel of Fortune’s” 6.0. The “Wheel” number is up 18% from the prior week to its own season high. Primetime game show “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” premiered on ABC on Jan. 7, which surely helped.
Trebek’s final “Jeopardy!” week actually declined from the comparable week in early 2020, when the show averaged a 7.1 rating. Back then, there was added interest in the format due to ABC airing primetime tournament “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time.”
There also wasn’t the coronavirus — at least not here in the States — dampening seemingly everything.
Trebek’s final “Jeopardy!” episode, which aired on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, drew 14 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. That makes it the show’s most-watched episode in 419 days — or since James Holzhauer’s incredible winning streak came to an end.
Holzhauer won $2,462,216 over 32 “Jeopardy!” games. Ken Jennings, a current consulting producer and the first guest-host of the game show following Trebek’s passing, has topped Holzhauer in both cash and streak. Jennings scored $2,520,700 over 74 games back in 2004.
Jennings also won that “Greatest of All Time” tournament, just in case there was any question about that.
In third place for the week ending Jan. 10, 2021 among all syndicated series was powerhouse “Judge Judy,” which rose 10% week to week to a 5.6 rating.
In fourth — or in third among just the game shows — was regular game show leader “Family Feud,” which declined 4% to a 5.1. “Family Feud” has had a celebrity edition airing on (you guessed it) ABC for a while now.
In terms of talk shows, “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (2.0) topped “Dr. Phil” (1.8) in their ongoing battle. “Kelly Clarkson” and “Maury” both drew a 1.0 rating.
It’s worth noting here that Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2021 was riddled with preemptions due to news coverage of the siege on the Capitol Building. That impacted pretty much all of syndication.
Jennings took over from behind the “Jeopardy!” podium on Jan. 11. We’ll get those ratings next week, and we’re getting a new batch of guest hosts soon.