'Jeopardy!' Ratings Jumped to 13-Week High for Joe Buck's Guest Host Stint

Jeopardy! ratings jumped to a 13-week high during Joe Buck's guest-hosting stint on the syndicated quiz show, after months of falling audience numbers.

The sportscaster was the last in a long line of celebrity guest hosts who took the helm over the course of the recently concluded 37th season, as producers sought a replacement for late Jeopardy! presenter Alex Trebek.

And Buck rounded out the season in victorious style, pulling in a 5.2-percent audience share when he appeared on the show for a single week, with his episodes airing between August 9 and 13.

The same viewing figures were achieved by Bill Whitaker during the two weeks that he presented the show in May—the last time such numbers were achieved before Buck—according to Nielsen Media Research figures obtained by Next TV.

CNBC host David Faber, who presented the show the week before Buck, pulled in 4.5—a slight improvement on previous host LeVar Burton, who drew in the lowest figures of all celebrities to take to the lectern this past season with 4.4.

Unlike the two presenters before him, Buck's ratings were unscathed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which ran between July 23 and August 8.

Before Burton, Savannah Guthrie and Dr. Sanjay Gupta had tied for the low record, pulling in 4.7 during one of their two weeks on the show—a figure also shared by Good Morning America's Robin Roberts during her week at the helm.

On the other end of the spectrum, former contestant Ken Jennings peaked with a 6.1 audience share during his six-week stint in January, which also happened to be the first of the guest-hosting spots.

In Katie Couric's case, the first of her two weeks in March proved to be her most successful, peaking at 5.6, while Dr. Mehmet Oz hit 5.2 when he guest-hosted from the week ending March 28.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers saw a ratings rebound, with the first of his two weeks in April bringing in a 5.6 audience share.

Mayim Bialik—who was this month announced as one of the new permanent hosts of Jeopardy!—enjoyed a peak of 5.1 when she hosted the show from June. She shared the same numbers with Anderson Cooper and Buzzy Cohen, per Next TV.

Meanwhile, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richardswho last week stepped down from his position as host just nine days after his post was announced—maintained a 5.9 for his two weeks at the lectern when he took over from Jennings.

The numbers are based on live-plus-same-day national household ratings from Nielsen Media Research.

A search for the new Jeopardy! host kicked off at the start of the year, following the death of beloved presenter Alex Trebek, who passed away in November 2020.

Following the news of Richards' departure as host of the nightly syndicated show, it was announced that Bialik, who has been drafted in to present Jeopardy! specials, will temporarily fill in ahead of more guest presenters.

"Jeopardy!" guest host Joe Buck
Joe Buck attends the 2017 FOX Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 15, 2017 in New York City. The sportscaster's week-long stint as "Jeopardy!" guest host saw the show's ratings leap to a 13-week high. Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic