Despite a swell of online support following his first week hosting Jeopardy!, the ratings for the hit trivia game show dipped under Anderson Cooper’s guest-hosting stint. Cooper’s turn behind the podium followed Aaron Rodgers, but even the pro footballer’s ratings swell couldn’t help lift the tide for the CNN anchor. There were multiple external factors that possibly contributed to the dip in ratings, which surprisingly put Cooper behind one of the more controversial figures to host the game show.
Even This Controversial Host Had Better First Week Ratings
In a surprising development, ratings for Anderson Cooper’s turn at the helm of Jeopardy! slipped significantly, even lower than they did when controversial TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz led the show. Just before the TV doctor’s episodes aired, over 500 former contestants signed an open letter to producers condemning Dr. Oz’s inclusion on the rotation of guest hosts.
Under Dr. Oz, ratings slipped to 5.2 during his debut week, which marked a new low for Jeopardy!. Cooper’s first week dipped even lower, hitting a scant 5.1. That low number is especially surprising considering that ratings were up under previous guest host Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers quarterback pulled in 5.6 during his first week and closed out his second week at 5.5. There’s still hope for the average of Cooper’s ratings to rise after the results of his second week come in. Since there were interruptions in both his first and second week, however, there may not be much of an improvement.
Why Anderson Cooper’s Ratings Were Weaker Than Expected
The ratings for all syndicated shows during the week ending in April 25 were down thanks to Derek Chauvin’s murder trial. Coverage of the trial was extensive during the daytime hours, especially on April 19 and 20, the latter of which was when the verdict was announced. With that sort of competition, it’s no wonder that Jeopardy! lost some viewers. The NFL Draft might have also played a role in Cooper’s less than stellar ratings since it caused the program to be pushed in some major markets to a less favorable time.
Though the initial reaction to Cooper’s smooth voice and calm demeanor that had been forged behind the news desk for years was approving, it seems like audiences are still adjusting to Jeopardy! without the late host Alex Trebek. Ratings and viewership were up higher than ever before, with over 14 million people tuning in for Trebek’s final episode. That swell of viewership carried over to the first guest host, Ken Jennings. Jennings, who rose to fame after winning the trivia game show multiple times, drew a 6.2 in ratings and finished his guest host gig with an impressive 5.9. We’re eager to see how the rest of the guest hosts will fare.
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