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‘Jeopardy!’ contestants petition to remove Dr. Oz as guest host
“Jeopardy!” ratings have slipped for yet another week — 2% more under Dr. Oz’s stint as guest host.
It was reported in late March that ratings had fallen 5% under Katie Couric’s second week at the helm, placing the show below “Family Feud” in household syndication ratings.
Now, as the game show rolls into its second week with Dr. Mehmet Oz at the podium, its score has fallen to 5.2 on the ratings scale, compared to “Family Feud,” which is now at 5.4 for the week ending March 28. (Granted, CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has hampered the syndication across the board.)
This is the lowest “Jeopardy!” ratings have fallen since January, according to the Wrap, just before Alex Trebek’s final episodes — taped before his death in November 2020. Ratings during those last few weeks reflected some of the highest the show sees in a season at 6.6. His final episode on January 8 garnered 14 millions viewers — their largest audience in over a year.
While it’s no surprise that the current slate of guest hosts don’t hold a candle to the show’s beloved late questionmaster, a cohort of demoralized former contestants and fans have come for Dr. Oz, in particular, for besmirching the show’s good name — given his alleged reputation for touting pseudo-science on his daytime health talk show.
As a rotating cast of celebrity guest hosts continue to play out, including footballer Aaron Rodgers, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and “Big Bang Theory” actor Mayim Bialik, fans are meanwhile petitioning for their favorite to replace Trebek as host of America’s Favorite Quiz Show.
The highly qualified Ken Jennings has been a name on the lips of many former players, who hold the 74-episode champion in high regard.
Another hot contender: LeVar Burton. The 64-year-old actor and literacy activist has recently become the subject of a petition on Change.org that urges “Jeopardy!” producers Mike Richards and Harry Friedman to offer Burton the gig. Now, more than 165,000 have signed the petition — the former “Reading Rainbow” host among them.
On Monday, Burton tweeted, “Leaving this here in the event that the powers that be are listening,” alongside a link to the petition, which has been making its rounds on the web for months, but only recently gained traction during the past few weeks as the show ramps up vetting replacements.
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