We Can Cross Cooper Off The List Of Possible Hosts As Viewership Decreases Because Of Him
One of America’s leading game shows, Jeopardy!, is still looking to fill the spot left by the tragic passing of longtime host, Alex Trebek. Avid watchers have had strong opinions on the shakeup. It’s clear Trebek cannot be replaced, but the franchise has been giving guest trials to many familiar faces like actor and former television host, Levar Burton, former Jeopardy! champion, Ken Jennings, the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, and National Football League’s Aaron Rodgers. After Katie Couric received a backlash from the show’s supporters, she pulled her name out of the running list of persons to be permanent. While Fox News reports Jeopardy! is very close to naming the official host – we can be almost certain it won’t be one silver fox anchorman.
According to Entertainment Weekly, CNN’s Anderson Cooper has drawn the lowest ratings for Jeopardy! among their guest host cocktail thus far. Cooper’s run fell in viewership by 7% over his two-week stint… he even had less viewers tuning in than those who watched Dr. Mehmet Oz guest hosting. During Cooper’s turn, more viewers were tuning into Family Feud instead. Somewhere, wherever she is, you know Kathy Griffin must have a big grin on her face, right? Karma tends to come around in strange ways.
As executive discussions continue to evolve behind the scenes, EP Richards believes whomever will take the throne of Jeopardy! host should be willing to commit all of their time to it – just as Trebek did. Oh yeah, and they are listening closely to fans of the franchise and social media to make their final decision. But, as obvious as it could be, the ratings may very well be the deciding factor. Richards explained:
“I feel like it worked out pretty well for Alex as one job. It’s not a side hustle to me, and we’ve been clear about that. I think there’s different ways fan response can play into it. What we are working on, as far as really understanding what the fans are saying and who’s saying it, is very important. It’s going to come down to the heads of Sony [Entertainment] to make that decision, ultimately, and it’ll come down to testing. They’ve been a part of it. They know what’s going on in the studio. They’re watching the feed, the tapings. It’s very extensive. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of, as far as testing in its size and scope.”
What’s interesting to analyze is the Jeopardy! audience may be filled with more conservative beliefs. The franchise has historically swayed from politics to attract a moderate audience. Trebek himself proclaimed he has never identified as a Democrat or Republican – which may explain the longevity and love of the series and his presence. Couric was criticized for her comments on deprograming supporters of Donald Trump – and the viewers didn’t just balk on social media, but boycotted the show, which dropped 5% in viewership during her reign as guest host. Stick that with viewership declining to damaging numbers, it’s quite clear the route Jeopardy! will be taking with its new host isn’t going to be an outspoken, devout Liberal voice in media. But there is the ‘Burton Factor’. While Levar Burton has been put on a pedestal on social media trends, his reign as guest host will not be until July – so we’ll be keeping our eyes glued to see what kind of viewership he will wrangle. If numbers succeed, chances are he takes the title. Currently, Jennings has held the highest scored viewership for the show since Trebek’s passing.
Do you believe personal politics will also play a role into who will take over for the beloved Trebek?
Writer’s Note A: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.