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- American game show contestant
What is... a ratings juggernaut?
That's what Jeopardy has steadily become over the course of its 38th season. According to Nielsen data, the quiz show was the highest-rated program on broadcast and cable TV, not counting sports, for the week of Dec. 27.
With an average of nearly 9.7 million viewers per episode, Jeopardy bested TV powerhouse Yellowstone (9.34 million) as well as every network's New Year's Eve special. (Because Jeopardy airs in syndication, ratings data only becomes available two weeks after the week in question.)
Courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc. 'Jeopardy' champion Amy Schneider
Jeopardy has averaged 9.2 million total viewers across the 2021-22 season so far, The Wrap reports, putting it just ahead of 60 Minutes' 9.1 million average to make it the most-watched show on broadcast or cable for the season. (It is worth noting that syndicated and broadcast/cable ratings are rarely compared directly; Jeopardy, for instance, airs every weekday across various networks and timeslots, while a show like 60 Minutes airs weekly on a single network at a single time.)
The reason for the ratings surge? It's likely thanks in no small part to current champion Amy Schneider, who recently became only the fourth contestant — and the first woman — to earn more than $1 million during a winning streak on the show. On Thursday's episode, Schneider notched her 32nd straight victory, tying James Holzhauer for the third-longest streak of all time.
This recent ratings jump is still below Jeopardy viewership from last season, however, which surged as a series of guest hosts stepped in following the death of beloved host Alex Trebek. (His final episode, which aired in January 2021, was the show's most-watched since Holzhauer's.)
Jeopardy averaged about 10 million viewers during Ken Jennings' initial six-week run as guest host, though ratings declined after that. Jennings is set to split hosting duties with Mayim Bialik through the end of season 38.
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