In Depth

'Family Feud' Enters 14th Season With Biggest Ratings in Two Decades, Up 50% From Year Ago to 3.9; Usurps 'Jeopardy' With 46% Gain to 1.9 in W25-54

Press release from Debmar-Mercury and FremantleMedia North America:

New York and Los Angeles, Sept. 25, 2012 -- Family Feud, distributed by Debmar-Mercury and produced by FremantleMedia North America, entered its 14th season with its national Nielsen syndication ranked No. 4 among all first-run strips. Ratings surged 50% from last season’s debut to a 3.9 in households and, among the key demo of women 25-54, it soared 46% to 1.9 to surpass Jeopardy (1.5) and tie Wheel of Fortune.

According to the national ranking report for the week ended Sept. 16, the fast-rising Feud, hosted by highly popular multi-hyphenate standup comedian, actor, author, deejay and new talk show host Steve Harvey, also leapt 30% year-to-year from a 3.0 average household rating during the recently-concluded 2011-12 season.

This marks the best performance by Feud since the week of March 9, 1992 (the half-hour strip started its current syndication run in the 1999-2000 season), following substantial ratings gains the past two seasons since Harvey joined as host in September 2010.

Feud’s hefty increases come as Debmar-Mercury has significantly boosted the number of clearances this season between 5 and 8 p.m.—highly viewed time periods normally reserved for top off-network comedies and other leading first-run series—from a handful of stations to more than 70% of its national lineup. The series has already been renewed through 2015.

Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein stated, “We expected substantial ratings growth from Feud with the greatly improved station lineup and are thrilled to see this amazing result for its debut number. Thanks to a phenomenal host in Steve Harvey, Fremantle’s incredible production team and our very enthusiastic station partners, we believe this is only the tip of the iceberg as to where the ratings will go this season.”