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Chuck Todd takes spin as ‘Jeopardy’ questioner

NBC

NBC’s “Meet the Press” became a category on the game show “Jeopardy!” on Tuesday, with the network’s Chuck Todd temporarily stepping in for longtime host Alex Trebek. 

{mosads}Todd, who helms both Sunday’s “Meet the Press” and MSNBC’s weekday version of the political affairs program, was chosen to present answers on the popular 51-year-old syndicated program Tuesday night. 

The 44-year-old Todd said his spot on “Jeopardy!” was a thrill, but even more so for his mother.

“I definitely have gotten a kick out of it, and it’s easily one of the coolest perks to date,” Todd told The Hill in an email. “But mom is a Jeopardy! addict! My kids know that you can’t call or text Grandma at 7:30 p.m. when Jeopardy! airs where she lives.

“So for my mother, these Jeopardy! cameos might be a bigger deal to her than my actual job!”

Apparently one of the contestants, Pidge Meade, a technical writer and actress from Pacifica, Calif., is a political junkie or a ”Meet the Press” fan — or both — as she swept the category with answers stretching back to the ‘50s and ‘60s. 

“Meet the Press” first on NBC aired in 1947.

“As a regular Jeopardy! viewer, I’m never surprised at a category sweep,” said Todd, who was a “Jeopardy!” contestant himself in May, when the show came to Washington for a week. 

“It happens fairly frequently. Having experienced it myself, there is a rhythm a contestant gets when they realize they have a category topic figured out.”

Todd performed well in his appearance, amassing a respectable $12,000 against CNN’s S.E. Cupp and novelist Jonathan Franzen before betting and losing it all in Final Jeopardy.

All three contestants got the question wrong — answer: “Officials called tribunes sat at Rome’s Senate door, and if they didn’t like what was going on, shouted this Latin word”; question: “What is a veto?” — and Cupp walked away with the victory.

Last Sunday, “Meet the Press” ranked No. 1 both in total viewers and the 25–54 age demographic that advertisers covet. By registering more than 4 million total viewers, the show delivered the largest audience of any Sunday public affairs programs since March.

Overall the program has registered sharply higher ratings overall since Todd replaced David Gregory in September 2014, going from No. 3 in the 25–54 demographic to No. 1 in one year. 

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