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'Jeopardy!' champ Holzhauer a winner in TV ratings, too

FILE - In this May 2, 2019, file photo, "Jeopardy!" sensation James Holzhauer speaks after being presented with a key to the Las Vegas Strip in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign in Las Vegas. The Nielsen company says that 14.5 million people watched Holzhauer's final show on June 3. That's when the professional gambler from Las Vegas was beaten after 32 consecutive wins and more than $2.4 million in prize money. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

NEW YORK — A case can be made that “Jeopardy!” savant James Holzhauer is one of the year’s biggest TV stars, although a short-lived one.

The Nielsen company says that 14.5 million people watched Holzhauer’s final show on June 3. That’s when the professional gambler from Las Vegas was beaten after 32 consecutive wins and more than $2.4 million in prize money.

Those are impressive ratings in this fragmented television world. Holzhauer’s finale drew more viewers in the U.S. than the first four games of the NBA Finals, for example. No prime-time entertainment show this season averaged that many people on the night they first aired.

“Jeopardy!” is successful even without a big winner, but that episode was the most popular in 14 years.

David Bauder, The Associated Press