Uproxx: For years, the highest rated game shows have been Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, in that order. A lot of their success can be attributed to their familiar hosts, Pat Sajak (and to a certain degree, Vanna White) and Alex Trebek, whose popularity is also aided by SNL‘s “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketches, despite his not appearing in them. But another mocked-on-SNL game show host is coming for their crown, and he’s got a good chance of catching up to them. That would be Steve Harvey and Family Feud, which may soon become America’s most popular game show.
According to Nielsen estimates for the week ending Feb. 22, Family Feud continued its scorching season by matching its all-time high household rating (7.2), first set three weeks earlier. The Steve Harvey-hosted game show, distributed by Debmar-Mercury and from producer FremantleMedia North America, was up 11% vs. the previous week and 26% higher than the same frame a year ago.
Season-to-date, Family Feud is averaging a 6.2 household rating and is up in that category and most other demos by about 20%. For the first time, it also ranks as syndication’s top-rated game show in women 25-54, moving ahead of Wheel of Fortune. (Via)
That 7.2 is close to Wheel of Fortune‘s 7.6 and Jeopardy’s 7.4. The Daily Beast has an entire article on the reasons why Family Feud has suddenly gotten exploded. The long answer: no more Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, or John O’Hurley. The short answer: Steve Harvey.
Asked to reveal the secret behind Family Feud’s surge, longtime executive producer Gaby Johnston replied, “It’s Steve Harvey. That’s our secret sauce. It’s Steve Harvey.” She then went on to recount that during the comedian’s first year on the show in 2010, after a long day of taping, she turned to him and said, “You know what? This is going to be huge.” (Via)
Things that aren’t huge are also a big reason why the show’s so darn popular.