Ratings for King World's Jeopardy!
went through the roof the week ended July 18, as contestant Ken Jennings passed the $1 million mark in total winnings. By Friday July 16, Jennings had won his 33rd consecutive game. For the week, Jeopardy!
was up 21% to a 10.2, its highest rating in 41/2 years and an increase of 62% over last year at this time.
For the second week in a row, Jeopardy!
was syndication's No. 1 show. Jeopardy!
hadn't been No. 1 since Nielsen established its current electronic database in the 1991-92 season. The veteran show has seen viewership increase 84% since the week ended June 13, when Jennings had won only eight games in a row. That takes its average audience from 8.4 million viewers to a current 15.4 million.
Meanwhile, King World's Wheel of Fortune
—which also is likely benefiting from Jennings' run since Wheel
is paired with Jeopardy!
in many major markets—was up 6% to an 8.6. Wheel
finished as syndication's runner-up for a second week.
In the Zone
New Line Television has cleared The Twilight Zone
in more than 96% of the country, including all the top 50 markets. In several markets—WMOR Tampa, Fla.; KMAX Sacramento, Calif.; WFTV/WRDQ Orlando, Fla.; and WRBU St. Louis—the show will air in prime time. The Twilight Zone
will premiere on Sept. 6. Many stations plan to run a four-episode Labor Day marathon of their latest syndicated acquisition. This modern remake of The Twilight Zone, hosted by Forest Whitaker, originally aired as an hour-long drama on UPN in 2002.
Twentieth Television has canceled its day-and-date strip On Air With Ryan Seacrest, after only nine months. The show goes out of production but will air till Friday Sept. 17 with a mix of pre-taped shows and repeats. Seacrest will continue to host Fox's American Idol; his morning radio show on KIIS(FM) Los Angeles, also titled On Air With Ryan Seacrest; and weekly countdown show American Top 40. In the week ended July 16, the TV show
averaged a 0.9 household rating, about what it had averaged since its launch in January.