The final week of “Jeopardy” with Alex Trebek as its host, averaged a whopping 11.2 million viewers an episode, with his last show drawing huge numbers.
Alex Trebek, the long-time television host, died on Nov. 8. He taped his final episodes in late October, with the final one coming 10 days before his death. The syndicated game show ran those episodes the week of Jan. 4. Trebek’s final episode, which ran Jan. 8, brought in 14 million viewers.
Now, some context: the final show for Alex Trebek drew its biggest audience since June 3, 2019. That’s when the draw was James Holzhauer and his 32-game winning streak.
The average of 11.12 million daily viewers was the best since late April. The game show “Wheel of Fortune” came closest to the Jeopardy ratings. But Alex Trebek and Jeopardy still led “Wheel of Fortune” by 840,000 viewers a day.
“Jeopardy” also beat out every prime time show that week except for “60 Minutes,” which had an NFL playoff game as its lead-in programming. The episodes, in order of audience: Friday (14 million), Monday (12.0 million), Tuesday (11.6 million) and Thursday (11.3 million).
The Wednesday program was Jan. 6, when most networks ran wall-to-wall programming of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Jeopardy ratings that day fell to 6.6 million, with 75 percent of the country’s markets showing the game show.
“The Hollywood Reporter” reported that ratings for “Jeopardy” also improved immediately following the death of Alex Trebek, before returning to their usual levels to close out November and December.
No Replacement Yet For Alex Trebek
The show has yet to announce a permanent host to replace Alex Trebek. It’s using celebrities to fill in and will have weeks of shows in the bank.
Ken Jennings, who is the winningest contestant in the show’s regular-season runs, currently is the guest host. He was a consulting producer before he stepped in as one of the show’s interim hosts. He’s already filmed six weeks of the show.
“You know, sharing the stage with Alex Trebek was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Jennings said on his first episode as host. “Not many things in life are perfect, but Alex did this job pretty much perfectly for more than 36 years and it was even better up close.”
Journalist Katie Couric also will be an interim host, post Alex Trebek. She’s the former host of the “Today” show and anchor of CBS Evening News. She’ll be the first woman to host the show.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is scheduled for a turn as the host. He won “Celebrity Jeopardy,” which was hosted by Alex Trebek, in 2015. He edged “Shark Tank” billionaire businessman Kevin O’Leary and astronaut Mark Kelly, who was sworn in as a U.S. Senator late last year.
Mayim Bialik also accepted a guest host invitation. She’s the actress and real-life genius with a doctorate in neuroscience.
Bill Whitaker, a “60 Minutes” correspondent, also will serve as an interim host.
Trebek hosted the show for 36 years. He did so for more than 8,000 episodes. The show has been running in some form since 1964.
Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky.