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'Jeopardy!' finds the right ratings answers with IBM's Watson and Ken Jennings

February 17, 2011 | 11:16 am

Jeopardy The folks at "Jeopardy!" need to invite this Watson guy over a little more often.

This week's "exhibition match" between IBM's computer Watson and quiz champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter drove the syndicated game show to some of its best numbers in years.

The Wednesday episode, which ended with Watson beating Jennings and Rutter and winning $1 million earmarked for charities, was the No. 2 program of the night among households, behind only Fox's "American Idol"  (a 9.1 rating vs. "Idol's" 14.5 rating).

Even higher-rated was the Tuesday program, which did a 9.5 rating/17 share -- "Jeopardy!'s" best numbers since May 2005, when Jennings and Rutter squared off in a champions' tournament.

For the three days, "Jeopardy!" averaged a hefty 9.1 rating. Last February, the game show was averaging a 7.0 rating. (Nielsen will not deliver total viewer counts for a couple weeks.)

What did you think of the showdown between the computer and the human champs?

-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Host Alex Trebek (left), with Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, pose with the computer Watson. Credit: Associated Press