King World Productions has renewed veteran game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! through 2010, Roger King, CEO of CBS Enterprises and King World, and Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, said Wednesday.
King World distributes the two shows while Sony produces them.
Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, the number-one and -two rated shows in syndication in households, have been renewed on the key ABC owned stations, as well as on stations in the Viacom Stations Group (co-owned with King World), Hearst-Argyle, Belo, Cox Broadcasting, Lin and Post-Newsweek. So far, the renewals cover nearly 50% of the country.
Jeopardy! has seen a ratings boost over the past several months from the long winning streak of Ken Jennings, who thus far has won more than $1.3 million on the show.
Harry Friedman, executive producer of both shows, changed the rules of Jeopardy! at the start of last season to allow winners to keep competing as long as they kept on winning. Previously, players were limited to five days. That change paid off with the arrival of Jennings.
Recently, Jeopardy! has overtaken Wheel as the number-one show in syndication. While both shows are huge ratings draws, their audiences are primarily 50+, with the median ages of both over 60.