More 'Jeopardy' Drama: Mike Richards Departs, Ken Jennings Seen As Front-Runner

New “Jeopardy” host Mike Richards is bowing out, due to controversial past statements. The syndicated game show will look to the remaining guest hosts, with former show winner Ken Jennings appearing to be a front-runner.

Over $350 million in national TV advertising revenue per year is on the line.

Jennings posted the best results over all other contenders, averaging 2.33 million viewers for his guest appearances, according to LG Ads, the TV advertising inventory/TV data division of the smart TV maker. LG Ads has a footprint of 20 million smart TV homes.

Jennings even posted slightly better numbers than Richards: 2.33 million versus 2.26 million. Also, Jennings' results compare most favorably to the late and longtime host Alex Trebek, who averaged 2.7 million over similar comparable dates in 2020.

Other top-performing guest hosts for the longtime game show included Katie Couric, 2.5 million (as compared to 3.3 million for Trebek); Dr. Mehmet Oz, 2.0 million (vs. 2.8 million for Trebek); Aaron Rodgers, 2.1 million (vs. 3.0 million for Trebek); and Anderson Cooper, 1.9 million (vs. 3.0 million for Trebek).

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Eight other guest hosts were further down the list, including LeVar Burton, Savannah Guthrie and Mayim Bialik. Bialik got the nod for prime-time episodes/special spinoffs of the game show.

Last year, the syndicated daytime show took in $350.3 million dollars in national TV advertising revenue, according to estimates from Kantar. This was higher than the 2019 results of $317.8 million, and for 2018, which came in at $322.2 million.

“Jeopardy” weekend airings in syndication saw $19 million in national TV ad revenues in 2020 and $16.3 million in 2019.

2 comments about "More 'Jeopardy' Drama: Mike Richards Departs, Ken Jennings Seen As Front-Runner".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 23, 2021 at 9:55 a.m.

    Maybe only Jeopardy fans know the name, but guest host Buzzy, another former player, was much better than Ken in the post-Trebek shows. 

  2. George Wolfson from Altice USA, August 23, 2021 at 2:07 p.m.

    I suspect the ratings petering out throughout the season was a product of both "guest host fatigue" and the later reliance on lesser known names -- Bill Whitaker, the CNBC guy (?).
    Ken Jennings got more comfortable throughout his run. I did think Buzzy Cohem was better. And I like Mayim Bialik very much. She's smart enough and seemed to be having the time of her life. I do think Laura Coates, Alex Trebek's choice, should be given a chance. 

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