Ken Jennings might be leading the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time tournament at the moment, but the real winner has been the ratings. The multi-night event, which kicked off Tuesday night on ABC, has been a huge draw to viewers for the network. As pointed out by Vulture editor Josef Adalian, the first three nights actually grew their audience, drawing in more than 15 million with last night's matchup and beating out all other broadcast networks.
A source with access to some voodoo magic Nielsen numbers tells me #JeopardyGOAT grew to 15.4M viewers Thursday, surpassing CBS+NBC+Fox combined for the hour. The event has grown every night it's aired so far. https://t.co/2FfoAQJrSw— TVMoJoe (@TVMoJoe) January 10, 2020
The tournament pits the show's three biggest winners against one another, playing one match per night, comprised of two full Jeopardy! games. The first player to win three matches gets the distinguished title of the show's GOAT, along with a $1 million prize.
So far, Jennings is ahead with two wins, while James Holzhauer has one. Brad Rutter, who is still historically the show's biggest winner, has yet to get on the board. Which hasn't gone unnoticed by viewers.
Despite there being so much at stake, the tournament has had quite a bit of levity to it, from some good-natured ribbing between the contestants to Holzhauer teasing host Alex Trebek with his Final Jeopardy response. During night three, the phrase "OK Boomer" was even one of the show's questions, which also caused quite a fracas online.
While it's generally been a lighthearted affair, there is a bit of a somber undertone to The Greatest of All Time, as Trebek has been dealing with stage four pancreatic cancer, which was first announced in March of last year. Though he's had some ups and downs along the way, it hasn't taken a noticeable toll on his hosting duties.
He also made it clear recently that he has no immediate plans to step down from his post, which he's held since 1984, opting instead to take things one day at a time. Still, the subject of his inevitable replacement has come up lately, and while Trebek said he has no plans to weigh in on the decision himself, he did throw Betty White's name in the ring.
Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time will resume Tuesday, Jan. 14 on ABC.