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Creator / Merv Griffin

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Mervyn Edward "Merv" Griffin Jr. (July 6, 1925 – August 12, 2007) was a singer ("I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts"), Talk Show host (The Merv Griffin Show), and television producer who created several Game Shows and wrote almost all the music they used. He hosted Goodson-Todman's Play Your Hunch and was a fill-in host for Bill Cullen on The Price Is Right. Merv passed away in 2007.


Shows originally produced by Merv:

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  • Word for Word (1963-64, as "Milbarn Productions"; based heavily on an unsold Bill Derman game called Shopping Spree)
  • Jeopardy! (1964-75, 1978-79, 1984-; originally pitched as What's the Question?) and its spinoffs, Super Jeopardy! (1990), Jep! (1998-99), Rock & Roll Jeopardy! (1998-2001), and Sports Jeopardy! (2014-)
  • Let's Play Post Office (1965-66)
  • Reach for the Stars (1967; Merv wanted a curtain with stars that players could pluck down for prizes— his staff built an elaborate spaceship set with flashing lights and dials and the stars hung out of portholes)
  • One in a Million (1967)
  • Joe Garagiola's Memory Game (1971)
  • Wheel of Fortune (1975-; pilots were attempted in 1973 note  and 1974) and its juvenile spinoff, Wheel 2000 (1997-98)
  • Headline Chasers (1985-86, in association with Wink Martindale Enterprises (Wink hosted the show))
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  • Buzzword (1986; unsold pilot for NBC hosted by Ron Hoon)
  • Winfall (1988; unsold pilot for CBS hosted by Clint Holmes)
  • Monopoly (1990; pilots were taped in 1987 with Marc Summers and 1989 with Peter Tomarken)
  • Ruckus (1991-92; one regular game was Merv's original intent for Reach for the Stars)
  • Click (1997-99)
  • Merv Griffin's Crosswords (2007-08; originally piloted under Let's Play Crosswords, then Let's Do Crosswords)

According to The Man with Two Brains, Merv led a secret double-life as The Elevator Killer. "Merv Griffin!" is also a common cry of comic book characters Milk & Cheese.


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