1:01pm PT by Rick Porter
'Jeopardy!' Ratings Rise After Alex Trebek's Death
The first week of Jeopardy! after the death of longtime host Alex Trebek drew the syndicated game show's biggest audience in seven months.
Trebek, who died Nov. 8 at age 80, had continued work on the show while being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer. Episodes he taped 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 led all syndicated programming for the week, topping second-place show Wheel of Fortune (9.18 million viewers) by about 870,000 people. Jeopardy also led 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 set to air the week of Jan. 4, preceded by two weeks of repeats of some of his best work on the show.