Dr. Oz a ratings flop as Jeopardy! host


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If the answer is Who pulled the lowest numbers as Jeopardy! guest host since the New Year’s holiday break the question must be: Who is Dr. Mehmet Oz?

So far, in the U.S., Oz has fared the worst among a series of guest hosts that have filled in behind the lectern after the late Alex Trebek died following a battle with pancreatic cancer last November.

After Trebek’s death, the show announced it would continue using a rotating mix of guest hosts, with record-setting former champion Ken Jennings, the show’s executive producer Mike Richards, journalist and author Katie Couric and Oz first out of the gates.

Jennings, who won the Greatest of All Time tournament last year, was first up and, drew a 6.2 rating in his first week, according to The Wrap. He was followed by Richards, Couric, Oz and current host Aaron Rodgers.

Under Couric, ratings plunged 5% during her debut week as guest host. After Oz took over, the ratings slipped another 2%.

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Jeopardy! finished with a 5.2 household rating, behind Family Feud, with Oz as host, The Wrap added. Trebek’s final episode on Jan. 8 drew 14 million viewers.

Oz’s spot on the podium was not without controversy.

In the lead-up to his role as question master, fans of the show took to social media to voice their displeasure with his appearance.

“I’m writing, not to be snarky, but to sincerely register my objection to this show associating its long-established identity of fact-based knowledge with a man whose stature has become increasingly dependent on dangerous pseudo-science,” one user wrote. Another added, “Does this mean he’ll make up the answers like on his show?”

Future guest hosts include CNN’s Anderson Cooper, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, Call Me Kat star Mayim Bialik, 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker and CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.

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Star Trek actor LeVar Burton has also launched a bid to lead the show with a campaign to take over permanently behind the lectern.

“I’ve thought and thought and thought — I’ve asked friends and family to help me identify someone out there who’s more qualified for the job than I am,” Burton tells Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me. And I will go to my grave believing that.”

Rodgers, who wraps up his stint this Friday, has also said he’ll consider picking up the gig full-time if producers come calling.

“Hell yeah, I would,” he said in an interview with USA Today. “I love the show and have a deep, deep affection for it. Not only is it a nostalgic connection to my childhood, but it’s a really special show to me, and I had a great time with everybody that works there.”

mdaniell@postmedia.com



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