NEW YORK -- Quiz-show king Ken Jennings has set another record on ''Jeopardy!"
Jennings won $45,099 on the episode that aired Wednesday, bringing his total earnings to $2,197,000 to make him the top TV game-show winner ever. He beat the previous record of $2,180,000, set by Michigan engineer Kevin Olmstead on ABC's ''Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in 2001.
Jennings, a 30-year-old software engineer from Salt Lake City, began his 66-appearances-and-counting streak on the episode that aired June 2. Since then, he has richly profited from a rule change made only last year, at the start of the syndicated game show's 20th season, that removed its five-appearance limit. Now a contestant can continue playing as long as he wins.
On the ''Jeopardy!" episode that aired Sept. 15, Jennings set the record for longest winning streak on any television game show.
Where might it all stop? There has been no confirmation, but TV Week reported in September that Jennings lost after his 75th straight win, amassing a total of about $2.5 million. ''Jeopardy!" episodes are taped in advance.
He has defeated 130 challengers and given more than 2,000 correct responses, including Wednesday's Final Jeopardy question, for which the clue was: ''This king was the great-grandfather of France's King Louis XV." Jennings sweetened his day's total take by $7,499 with his reply: ''Who is Louis XIV?"
Besting Olmstead's record had been Jennings's goal ''for a while," he told host Alex Trebek, adding, ''I actually know Dr. Olmstead a little bit, and he's been very supportive."
'SNL' plans reality search
The fierce competition among comics to land a gig on NBC's ''Saturday Night Live" is set to become the basis of an unscripted series for the peacock. Sources said NBC is working on a reality-competition series fronted by ''SNL" creator/executive producer Lorne Michaels.
The project would chronicle a group of comedians vying for a grand prize that is believed to be a role on the long-running comedy series. Michaels is expected to play a Donald Trump-like role, winnowing the pool of contestants until a victor is selected. Sources indicated that the project is eyed for a possible summer launch.
Singer in tune with ABC on sitcom
Elton John has inked a deal with ABC and its sister production company Touchstone Television to develop a comedy series. John will portray a rock legend embroiled in humorous situations involving the people around him. The show's creators say the still-untitled sitcom should have its pilot episode completed by next year.
John will be one of the show's executive producers. The team also includes Bob Hawley, an associate of John's who conceived the show's concept. ''The story lines will draw from over 30 years of Elton John's experiences in the entertainment industry," Hawley said. ''I had brought this idea to Elton years ago and the time is right to do the show."
John and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin wrote a new tune, ''Him and Us," to be used as the theme song. Hawley says there's a great possibility that some of the artist's famous friends will make cameos in the show.
Although John tours constantly and is appearing in his own Las Vegas show, ''The Red Piano," Hawley says he will make the necessary accommodations in his schedule to do the sitcom. ''Elton is totally committed to this project," he says.
John's new album, ''Peachtree Road," is due to hit stores Tuesday. BILLBOARD.COM
Globe on NECN
Here's what's happening on ''Around the Globe" today on NECN:
9 a.m.: ''Talk of New England"
12:30 p.m.: ''Globe at Home" -- Tina Cassidy of the Globe and Katie Tagliavia of 9 Months maternity shop talk about what's in style for mothers-to-be.
4 p.m.: ''Around the Globe"
6 p.m.: ''New England Business Day"
8 p.m.: ''NewsNight"
Schedule is subject to change.
Talk of the dial
4 p.m. WBIX-AM (1060) -- ''Market Wrap." Guest: Jim Keefe, chief investment officer, Allocation Plus Asset Management, analyzes day on Wall Street.
Other radio highlights
9 a.m. WCRB-FM (102.5) -- Mozart's Clarinet Concerto; Gade's Symphony No. 2.
7 p.m. WGBH-FM (89.7) -- ''Jazz From Studio Four." Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt.