Jeopardy! still finds itself in the midst of a transition as 2021 rolls on. At present, the show has welcomed a number of celebrities who have filled in as guest hosts. Aaron Rodgers and Katie Couric are some of the big names that have appeared on the game show as of late. One of the most recent personalities to fill Alex Trebek’s sacred post is CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. Early viewer responses favored Cooper but, now, it would appear that his debut didn’t fare too well in the ratings.
It’s recently been reported that Anderson Cooper’s Jeopardy! debut, which originally aired on April 19th, fell 7% to a 5.1 rating. According to TheWrap, this marks the lowest debut for any of the show’s guest hosts. The 5.1 rating also dropped the show from the top game show spot, giving it to Family Feud, which logged a 5.5 rating. These numbers also give Cooper’s first episode another distinction.
With this rating, Anderson Cooper’s first Jeopardy! episode falls below Dr. Oz’s debut episode, which netted a 5.2 rating (the previous low for a guest host). Oz’s tenure as host drew mixed responses from viewers, with many taking to social media to express negative feelings.
The trade does mention, however, that the ratings for Anderson Cooper’s episode were affected by a significant external factor. Around that time, Jeopardy!’s ratings were impacted by the news coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial. The April 19th and 20th were arguably impacted the most since they were the final two days of the trial.
While the numbers for Anderson Cooper’s debut episodes were relatively low, Jeopardy! has still seen some relatively solid numbers at points during its run of guest hosts. For instance, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers started his stint with a 5.6 rating and ended his second week at 5.5.
It’s been interesting to watch the public’s response to the different hosts. Some have been received quite positively like Aaron Rodgers, who even managed to impress fiancée Shailene Woodley. On the other hand, hosts like Ken Jennings and Katie Couric faced backlash even before taking up their posts.
As of this writing, 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker is the host of the show, having began his stint on Monday, May 3. Whitaker will be followed by Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik, Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos and Star Trek alum LeVar Burton, who has been actively campaigning to land the job permanently.
Even though Anderson Cooper’s Jeopardy! debut didn’t land massive ratings, the CNN host still did an admirable job while holding down the role. It even allowed him to capture a special moment with his young son.
Seeing as he’s a fan of the show, he likely can’t be too disappointed by the experience, though it will still be interesting to see how other guest hosts continue to perform on the program ratings-wise.