Ratings for King World Productions’ Jeopardy! are suddenly up everywhere, but they’ve exploded in Salt Lake City -- 133% -- since hometown boy Ken Jennings went on his winning streak. In May, local station KJZZ scored a 4 household rating/7 share. Now the station seems to be winning double jeopardy: a 9.3 household rating/19 share.
According to KJZZ Program Director Bob Quigley, Jennings-mania has given neighboring programs a boost, as well. Wheel of Fortune, which airs before Jeopardy, is up 66%, from a 4 to a 6.5 household rating and from an 8 share to a 13.
"We’ve just had huge, huge interest," says Quigley. "There’s quite a fervor going on." More than 650 postings on fan Paul Robichaux's blog, www.robichaux.net/blog, confirms the insanity. One fan calls Jennings "a gladiator in his own arena." Another attributes Jennings’ success to his Mormon faith. And one loony claims Jennings has supernatural powers. With ratings like these, KJZZ just hopes he keeps winning. (Paul Robichaux is no relation to Mark Robichaux, B&C's executive editor, by the way.)