The first week of Jeopardy! the syndicated game show,after the death of longtime host Alex Trebek attracted highest number of viewers in seven months.
Trebek, died Nov. 8 at age 80, was still working on the show while being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer. Episodes he filmed will air through early January, giving viewers a couple of months to see the host’s final on-camera work.
In the week of Nov. 9, viewers took that opportunity. Jeopardy! averaged 10.05 million daily viewers for its weekday episodes, a 24 percent jump over the show’s season average of 8.1 million. That made all syndicated programming for the week, topping second-place show Wheel of Fortune (9.18 million viewers) by about 870,000 people. Jeopardy also was leading the syndicated rankings among households with a 6.0 rating, edging the 5.9 for Judge Judy.
The last time Jeopardy! topped 10 million viewers in a week was in April.
The Sony-produced Jeopardy! has not yet named a permanent host to take over for Trebek. Ken Jennings, the winningest player in the show’s history, will be the first in a series of guest hosts starting Jan. 11. Trebek’s final shows are supposed to air the week of Jan. 4, before which repeats of some of his best work on the show will be shown