“Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time” has been a total home run with viewers.
The program, a competition between the three most successful winners in “Jeopardy” history, has aired three installments on ABC so far, and is averaging nearly 15 million viewers in same-day ratings. With today’s fractured viewing habits and the decline of traditional network programming, that’s a pretty big deal.
What’s even more impressive is that “Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time” has bested some of network TV’s most stalwart programming: sports. From The Hollywood Reporter”
Each episode of The Greatest of All Time has also outdrawn the first four games of the 2019 NBA Finals, the first five games of the 2019 World Series, all but one of ESPN's 17 Monday Night Football telecasts and seven of Fox's 11 Thursday Night Football showcases.
“Jeopardy” has surpassed football, basketball and baseball. Sports had a good run, but with the dominance of “Jeopardy” it’s time to dismantle the entire system and devote all our sports resources to a syndicated quiz show.
Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but the numbers don’t lie. The Monday and Thursday editions of NFL football should be looked at differently because they are recurring weekly shows that air partially or exclusively on cable networks, but the NBA Finals and the World Series are the marquee yearly events for the NBA and MLB.
The first four games of the 2019 NBA Finals averaged 13.54 million viewers, which is at least close to “Jeopardy.” The first five games of the 2019 World Series averaged 11.59 million viewers, and included three of the lowest-rated games of all-time. MLB in particular has struggled with World Series viewership in recent years, and getting beaten by “Jeopardy” only highlights those problems.
To be fair to sports, especially the NBA Finals and the World Series, “Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time” is a unique event. Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter have won more money than any other “Jeopardy” contestants ever, and they’re facing off for the first time in a battle for quiz show dominance. It’s a one-time event series, and it’s happening in prime time on a major network instead of in syndication with a “Wheel of Fortune” lead-in.
Here’s the most important question: does this mean “Jeopardy” is a sport now? Since “Monday Night Football” is done for the season, maybe a network should think about airing a four-hour block of “Jeopardy” in its place.
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