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A 'Jeopardy!' answer to a GOAT question from WNYers

Alan Pergament

Inquiring minds want to know: Why is “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time,” airing on local ABC affiliate WKBW-TV starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday instead of WIVB-TV, the CBS local affiliate that carries the weeknight program hosted by Alex Trebek daily at 7:30 p.m.?

The answer is simple.

“Jeopardy!” is a syndicated game show that airs in markets across the country on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and MyTV affiliates.

It just so happens to air in Buffalo on a CBS affiliate.

It is produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, which sells it to ABC owned-and-operated stations in big markets across the country.

Nationally, the number of CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates that carry “Jeopardy!” reportedly is pretty balanced.

“Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” features the 2019 sensation James Holzhauer, whose method of going for the answers with the higher values first changed the game on his way to earning $2,712,216; Brad Rutter, who first appeared in 2000 and became the highest money winner on the program and any game show at $4,688,436 due to tournament victories; and Ken Jennings, who won a record 74 times on his way to earning $3,370,700.

Rutter beat Jennings and earned $1 million in the “Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades” in 2014.

ABC undoubtedly hopes the trio is so competitive that the tournament is extended to a full seven nights.

Under the format, the first person to win three matches is declared the greatest of all time (GOAT) and earns $1 million. The two runners-up earn $250,000.

The first three matches hosted by Trebek will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, with the fourth program airing, if necessary, at 8 p.m. Friday.

If there isn’t any winner after four matches, there are three “if necessary” editions next week on Jan. 14, 15 and 16.

Based on WIVB’s ratings, the episodes should get double-digit ratings in the teens and might even hit a 20 local rating if it goes to Game 7.

The National Basketball Association, the World Series and the Stanley Cup final would celebrate if they received ratings anywhere near that in Western New York.


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