Billionaire and television producer Merv Griffin died Sunday from complications relating to prostate cancer, reports Reuters. Griffin had successfully battled cancer before in 1996, but it was found again this past July. Griffin was 82.
The entertainer made his mark on Hollywood both in front of and behind the camera. His company Merv Griffin Enterprises created several game shows, including the extremely popular Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Griffin also hosted his own old-school talk show, The Merv Griffin Show, during the early 1960s through the late 1970s.
Griffin was also musically inclined. He often sang on his show, and had a number-one hit with "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts." He's also responsible for the catchy Jeopardy! theme song, which took him less than an hour to write and has banked him tens of millions of dollars in royalties, according to Reuters.
After selling Merv Griffin ...Read more
Television's goldenest girl tops this year's list of Television Hall of Fame inductees, which were announced Thursday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Actress Bea Arthur (pictured, front and center), who played Dorothy Zbornak in The Golden Girls and Maude Findlay in Maude, is the sole actress getting her due this year. Since The Golden Girls went off the air, Arthur has reduced her workload, guest starring in a few shows such as Malcolm in the Middle and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Joining her in this class are the late Merv Griffin, M*A*S*H producer Larry Gelbart, and Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz.
Griffin passed away last August at the age of 82. The producer had a vast media empire, and created the shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy (he also composed the latter's theme song).
Gelbart was instrumental in getting the popular M*A ...Read more
On CBS tonight, one of the only award shows which blame can only be put on the viewers aired. I'm talking of course about the People's Choice Awards, and this year's edition may be the most important for the ceremony--it turned 35 years old tonight. Not only is it a birthday, it also is rebounding from last year's writers strike (which left then host Queen Latifah to fend for herself) and is still building upon its change in voting system--in 2005 it went online to let the "people" choose its winners.
The people have spoken, and they love House, Heroes, and American Idol. The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards has revealed its lengthy list of nominees, and it's full of small-screen favorites.
"This... is... Jeopardy!"America's top-rated syndicated quiz show entered into its 29th season on September 17, 2012. Many subscribing stations have renewed the show through Season 32 (2015-2016).
The show was originally created in the 1960s by Merv Griffin, a famed television host, musician, and actor. Irritated by the impossibility of trying to create a quiz show because of scandals that had taken place involving that genre, Griffin was inspired by a suggestion from his wife Julann to create a show wherein contestants were presented with clues in the form of answers, and had to phrase their responses in the form of a question. He originally was going to title the program What's the Question?, but ended up discarding that original title when a skeptical NBC network producer rejected his original concept, claiming, "It doesn't have enough jeopardies."
The original Jeopardy!series premiered on March 30, 1964, as a daytime program on NBC. With Art Fleming as host and Don Pardo as announcer, that series continued to air until January 3, 1975, and also spawned a weekly syndicated version that aired within the 1974-1975 season. Later came a revival, The All-New Jeopardy!, which ran from October 2, 1978 through March 2, 1979; for this version, Fleming was joined by announcer John Harlan.
The most successful incarnation of Jeopardy! is the current syndicated version, which has aired continuously since September 10, 1984, featuring the Canadian-born Alex Trebek as its host, joined by announcer Johnny Gilbert. This particular version of the program has lived up to its slogan as "America's Favorite Quiz Show," with over 6,000 episodes aired, and currently averages 25 million viewers per week. The show has featured over 10,000 different contestants over the course of its 29-year run, and a host of prominent personalities - including royalty, Presidents, film stars, television personalities, famous athletes, and Nobel laureates - have either presented special clues or appeared as contestants on the show. Since its premiere, the syndicated version of Jeopardy! has outlived 300 other game shows, won a record 33 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, and gained a worldwide following with a multitude of international adaptations. In addition, both TV Guide and the Game Show Network (GSN) have ranked it #2 on their respective lists of the 50 greatest game shows of all time.
The longevity of Jeopardy!'s popularity has led it to being referenced and parodied in many television shows, films, and works of literature over the years, including such popular programs as Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Cheers, and The Golden Girls. Educators throughout the United States have created their own versions of the quiz show's game to encourage student participation in class, and even IBM has used the show to exhibit its artificial intelligence system "Watson" and have it compete against two of the show's finest champions in a "man versus machine" competition.moreless