Steve Harvey-hosted 'Family Feud' beats out 'Wheel of Fortune' in ratings

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"Family Feud," the syndicated game show hosted by Steve Harvey, hit a ratings record high the first week of January, reaching a 7.6 and poised to become what its producers say is the first nationally syndicated TV series ever to increase its ratings for seven consecutive years.

In a statement accompanying the ratings news, Jennifer Mullin, Co-CEO, FremantleMedia North America, praised the producing team and host. “Their passion,” she said, “coupled with the unstoppable talent within Steve Harvey, is what makes 'Feud' continue to shine.”

The game show has increased its season-to-date average to a 6.8 rating, FremantleMedia says, up 8 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

The early-January figures do not reflect whatever publicity bump came with Harvey’s much-covered meeting with President-elect Donald Trump last Friday, January 13. Harvey told reporters gathered then in the lobby of Trump Tower that he, Trump and Dr. Ben Carson discussed working together on urban issues.

Per the ratings announcement, "Feud’s" numbers have “surged nearly fivefold” from a 1.4 in the 2009-10 season to its current 6.8 (2.4 in 2010-11, followed by a 3.0, 4.6, 5.0, 6.2 and last season’s 6.6). That surpasses both "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" in the game category, and "Feud" “frequently leads all of first-run syndication.”

The game show’s previous ratings high was 7.5 for the week of January 18, 2016.

“Steve Harvey’s brilliant comedic skills and timing have struck a chord with millions of viewers who want nothing more than to be entertained and laugh,” said Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, Co-Presidents of Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury. “We are incredibly thankful to FremantleMedia, its extraordinary producing team and our station partners, which have believed so strongly in 'Feud' since Steve became host that they awarded it with upgrades into their most heavily viewed early evening time periods. This has resulted in one of the most phenomenal ratings turnarounds in television history.”