In late July, Jeopardy! executives announced that Ken Jennings would be taking the reins of the regular program, while Mayim Bialik would host the specialty competitions like Jeopardy! National College Championship, and, as we saw on Sunday, Celebrity Jeopardy! as well. Bialik’s run on the daily program caused quite the stir. So, did her biggest critics tune into her latest hosting gig? Let’s take a look at the ratings.
‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Threatened To Boycott
Back in July, a storm was brewing on social media. After Jeopardy! producers announced that they planned to keep both Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik on as hosts of the show, some fans retaliated. The many who favored Jennings expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision, vowing that they’d boycott the show until Bialik was completely dismissed.
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Plenty of Twitter users insisted that they wouldn’t watch unless Jennings was named the sole host of Jeopardy! and warned that viewership was about to drastically drop. However, there were supporters in Bialik’s camp as well. Some insisted that she was the better host overall and that the show’s announcement was just a testament to that.
However, Jennings began hosting the usual Jeopardy! competitions alone, and things have been relatively quiet ever since. That is until Bialik returned after over two months later to host the first-ever primetime version of Celebrity Jeopardy!.
‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’ Makes A Big Splash
On September 25, Bialik commenced the very first primetime Celebrity Jeopardy!. To make the show fit the full-hour time slot, it introduced the first-ever “Triple Jeopardy!” round, but otherwise, the format remained unchanged. Comedian Andy Richter, SNL star Ego Nwodim, and Marvel standout Simu Liu competed for large cash prizes—for charity, of course—in a neck-and-neck competition that was far more hair-raising than it should have been.
However, the stars aligned for the show, leaving a positive impression on viewers. The show landed in second place in ABC’s non-sports programs with 4.03 million viewers. It seems like the boycott threats either weren’t genuine, or there weren’t enough boycotters to dampen the ratings. Whatever the cause, it’s clear Bialik is in her element on the specialty competition show.
Succeeding weeks will be a better indicator, but, as it stands now, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune leads the pack as ABC’s most-watched non-sports program. However, the program’s 4.302 million viewers are certainly within reach for Celebrity Jeopardy!. As fans watch these celebrities battle it out for charity, it looks like another competition is brewing between America’s favorite competition shows.