Without its star contestant, James Holzhauer, “Jeopardy!” lost its top syndicated ratings spot, allowing “Judge Judy” to retake the throne.
Holzhauer, 35, captured fans’ attention by surpassing the $1 million prize mark faster than any other contestant in the game’s history. As the Las Vegas sports gambler continued to win, ratings for “Jeopardy!” reportedly increased from 9.6 million viewers in early April to 12 million by the end of the month.
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However, the syndicated game show paused Holzhauer’s regular game winning streak to air the first half of its “Teacher’s Tournament.” Unfortunately for the show, TheWrap reports that ratings fell to 6.1 million in early May without viewers being able to tune in to see if Holzhauer wins or loses.
The dip reportedly marks an end to a three-week run as the most-watched show in syndication, which allowed “Judge Judy,” who normally maintains the lead, to retake her spot with a reported 7.0 rating.
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However, these numbers may change soon as Holzhauer returned on Monday to win his 23rd consecutive game with a total of $89,229. He previously won a game with a total of $131,127, topping the one-day record of $110,914 that he set earlier in his run. The previous single-day record-holder was Roger Craig, who won $77,000 in a 2010 game.
So far he holds the second-longest “Jeopardy!” winning streak behind Ken Jennings, who won 74 games in a row in 2004.
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Although Holzhauer still has more than 50 games to go before catching up to Jennings, his total earnings are on track to surpass the reigning champ well before the 74-game mark.