In Focus

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'Jeopardy!' Can't Beat a Winner

The ghost of Jeopardy! player extraordinaire Ken Jennings haunted the game show in the Nielsen national barter rankings for the week ended June 26, the first full week of summer, when viewing levels fall as the weather heats up.

Jennings, who made his first Jeopardy! appearance on June 2, 2004, and was in the early stages of his months-long winning streak in the year-ago week, had lifted ratings to the point where comparisons will be tough in the months ahead.

The game show earned a 6.0 rating for the week, down 20% from the previous year but up 3% from the previous week and 6% for the entire season. (Jennings made it to the November sweeps and returned for the show's Tournament of Champions in May.)

Overall, three shows were up by double digits: Reruns of Starting Over climbed 13% week-to-week to a 0.9 (flat with a year ago), Dr. Phil grew 12% to 4.6 and 15% for the year, and Montel jumped 12% to 2.2 as a result of a big boost in women 18-34. It earned a 1.4 in the demo, its best mark since May.

Last 'Danza' For Several Staffers

As The Tony Danza Show prepares for its do-or-die sophomore season, Buena Vista Television has axed executive producer John Redmann, supervising producer Shane Farley, and Ereka Vetrini, a correspondent and former contestant on NBC's The Apprentice.

BVT confirmed the exit of the producers and the talent but did not say why. A spokeswoman said an announcement concerning a new executive producer will be made soon.

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