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Alex Trebek’s last week as host of Jeopardy! drew the game show’s biggest ratings in eight-plus months, and his last episode gathered the largest audience in more than a year and a half.
The longtime host, who died on Nov. 8, had taped his final episodes in late October. The syndicated game show ran those episodes the week of Jan. 4.
The show averaged 11.12 million daily viewers for the week, its largest weekly tally since late April. Jeopardy! topped its closest competitor in syndication, Wheel of Fortune, by about 840,000 viewers, and led every primetime program (excluding sports) for the week as well.
In household ratings, a key measure for syndicated shows, the 6.6 for Jeopardy! was also a season high, 0.6 ahead of Wheel of Fortune.
Trebek’s last episode on Jan. 8 brought in 14 million viewers, the most for any Jeopardy! since June 3, 2019 — the final episode of James Holzhauer’s 32-game winning streak.
Ratings for Jeopardy! also improved immediately following Trebek’s death before returning to their usual levels to close out 2020.
Jeopardy! has yet to name a permanent new host. In the interim, a series of guest hosts will fill Trebek’s shoes, including the game’s all-time champion, Ken Jennings, as well as Katie Couric, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whittaker and actress Mayim Bialik.
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