Family Fued Steve Harvey

Look out “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” because “Family Feud” is on a ratings roll.

The Steve Harvey-hosted show, from producer FremantleMedia North America and distributor Debmar Mercury, hit another milestone the week ending Jan. 26, rising to Nielsen heights the show hasn’t seen in at least 25 years. It also edged out the venerable “Wheel” as the top syndicated gameshow in some key female demos.

According to Nielsen estimates, the nationally syndicated “Family Feud” averaged  a 6.1 household rating — the first time the gameshow has surpassed the 6.0 ratings threshold and its highest number since the advent of Nielsen People Meters in 1988. It was up 7% week-to-week (5.7) and a big 20% vs. the comparable week a year ago (5.1). Overall, the show is up a monster 336% since Harvey became host in September 2010.

“Feud” was similarly up in total viewers, according to Nielsen, with its 9.235 million a 19% gain vs. a year ago (7.789 million). Among gameshows during the week, it was more competitive with the big boys, “Wheel” (12.571 million) and “Jeopardy” (11.555 million), both of which were up by single-digits vs. last year.

The real strength of “Family Feud” lies in its demo performance, and in the last week of January it rose to a 3.1 rating in women 25-54 — up 11% vs. the prior week and 15% from the comparable frame a year ago; its previous high had been a 2.9. It finished ahead of “Wheel of Fortune” (3.0) and “Jeopardy” (2.7), and by a bit wider margin in women 18-49 (2.0 to 1.8 for “Wheel” and 1.7 for “Jeopardy”).

And in adults 25-54, its 2.7 rating put it second among all firstrun syndicated strips, behind only “Judge Judy” (2.8).

“Family Feud” is now cleared by Debmar-Mercury between 5 and 8 p.m. in more than 70% of the country. It tapes in Atlanta, where Harvey lives and hosts a radio show.

Elsewhere, another syndicated gameshow on the rise is Disney’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which spiked 14% week-to-week to match a season high in households (2.5 rating) while drawing its largest overall audience in nearly a year (3.481 million). The Cedric the Entertainer-hosted program also matched its highest women 25-54 rating (1.2) since February 2012.

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