“Jeopardy!’s” millionaire contestant Ken Jennings topped the highlight reel on a great week for syndicated strips and led the King World strip to the top spot for the first time in more than a decade.
For the week ending July 11, “Jeopardy!,” fueled by Mr. Jennings’ winning streak, surged past King World stablemate “Wheel of Fortune” to become the top overall syndicated series. The strip was up 6 percent from the previous week to an 8.4 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That number was good enough to place the series atop the charts for the first time since Nielsen established its electronic database 13 years ago.
“Wheel of Fortune” received a rub, however, from the “Jeopardy!” winning streak with the two airing back to back in a slew of markets. The series rose 3 percent from the previous week to an 8.1.
Another big winner in the syndicated sweepstakes was King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which began runs on TBS and surged 23 percent to a 5.8 with the added viewers. That was good enough to put the off-network strip on top of the genre for the first time ever.
Benefiting from the summer wave of kids home from school were late-night relationship strips. NBCU’s “Blind Date” grew 20 percent over the previous week to a 1.8 score, its highest of 2004. Meanwhile, Telepictures’ “Elimidate” rose 21 percent to a season high of 1.7.
All the newsmagazines were up as well, with Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” growing 7 percent to a 4.7, King World’s “Inside Edition” up 17 percent to a 3.5, NBCU’s “Access Hollywood” up 20 percent to a 2.4, Telepictures’ “Extra” rising 15 percent to a 2.3 and Telepictures’ “Celebrity Justice” up 8 percent to a 1.3.