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Jeopardy! is without its guiding light. On November 8, Alex Trebek died at the age of 80 following a brave fight with pancreatic cancer, leaving a massive void not only within the talk show but within the TV landscape as a whole. In the wake of his death, episodes hosted by Trebek have continued to air, but have viewers still been drawn to the popular trivia show? Well, we know have an answer, thanks to the ratings.
Ultimately, it turns out a lot of fans still wanted to see Trebek perform the job he did best following his passing. During the week of November 9, Jeopardy! averaged an incredibly robust audience comprised of 10.05 million viewers, per The Hollywood Reporter.
The show’s daily average marked a 24% boost over the trivia series’ season average, which is 8.1 million. The huge ratings come for Jeopardy! more than a year after James Holzhauer provided the show with substantial ratings gains. At one point, Jeopardy! was even topping the final season episodes of outgoing TV titans Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory.
Those ratings towards the end of April 2019 stood in the shadow of Alex Trebek’s startling health announcement. It was in March 2019 that Trebek heartbreakingly announced he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The longtime host would continue to work, though. Following the announcement, Trebek would host Jeopardy! ’s GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) championship and get candid about the effects of his treatment.
Ken Jennings ultimately won Jeopardy! ’s GOAT championship, and both he and James Holzhauer were among the various Jeopardy! contestants to pay tribute to Alex Trebek when news of his death first broke. I would expect ratings to remain robust as Jeopardy! fans soak up the final episodes that Trebek hosted. After these episodes are finished airing, Jennings will be among those to guest host Jeopardy!.
Jeopardy! has shared how important it was to Alex Trebek that the show continue after his time as host had passed. It will be interesting to see how Jeopardy! ’s ratings will fare as viewers wait to learn who will ultimately replace him on a permanent basis.
Before announcing his cancer diagnosis, Alex Trebek reflected on his future replacement. At the time, Trebek said he believed he would get replaced by a woman, although male names remain in contention. So far, a fan petition calling for Star Trek: The Next Generation’s LeVar Burton to host has gone viral, though only time will tell who gets the job. For now, Jeopardy! will continue airing Alex Trebek-hosted episodes throughout early January