Sunday, April 21, 2024

“Jeopardy!” Sinking Ratings Draw a Competitor in NY and LA: New 7pm NBC Local News Starts Monday


I’ve been telling you for months that “Jeopardy!” was sinking in the ratings and was in trouble.

I guess someone listened. Starting Monday, WNBC Channel in New York and KNBC in Los Angeles will launch a 7pm local half hour newscast to compete with the quiz show.

No one’s tried this since 2007. It didn’t work because Alex Trebek crushed them.

But now with the rotating guest hosts in a long ratings decline, NBC Local News decided to take advantage of the situation. In New York that means Lester Holt will hand the news back to David Ushery and Natalie Pasquarella, who can update whatever people missed earlier, before Holt’s NBC Evening News.

Last week, “Jeopardy!” fell back to just a 5.1 in the ratings, down a million viewers since January when Ken Jennings took over for Trebek.

It’s a good idea since “Jeopardy!” is only going to do worse before it gets better. There is no host coming with buzz until LeVar Burton hits on July 26th. NBC can make some inroads between now and then especially if they offer some special material during that half hour. With the mayoral primary on June 22nd, and the election in November, there’s lots to talk about!

And “Access Hollywood” will follow at 7:30pm.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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