Jeopardy‘s three-day Man vs. Machine series, which pits the show’s most successful contestants, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter against IBM’s new supercomputer Watson, is drawing big ratings. Day 2 of the stint last night posted a 9.6 overnight household rating, beating all primetime competition in most of the Top 10 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. (Overall, the Sony Pictures TV-produced Jeopardy was No.3 behind NCIS and NCIS: LA). This was up 9% from Monday’s 8.8 rating and Jeopardy‘s best overnight rating in nearly 6 years, since May 25, 2005 when the final of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions featuring Jennings and Rutter drew a 10.5.
Going into tonight’s final round, Watson leads with $35,734 in winnings, followed by Rutter with $10,400 and Jennings with $4,800. At stake is not only human pride but also a very expensive bottle of wine, I hear. It is part of a wager between Sony Corp. president and CEO Howard Stringer and IBM president and CEO Sam Palmisano who are friends.