Merv Griffin Enterprises
The company's logo from 1993–1994
|Milbarn Productions (1963-1964)|
Merv Griffin Productions (1964-1984)
|Fate||Folded into Columbia TriStar Television|
|Successors||Columbia TriStar Television (1994-2002)|
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
Merv Griffin Entertainment
|Founded||March 7, 1963|
|Defunct||June 4, 1994|
|Owner||Sony Corp. (1989-1994)|
The Coca-Cola Company (1986–1987)
Columbia Pictures Entertainment (1987–1991)
Sony Pictures Entertainment (1991–1994)
|Subsidiaries||Trans-American Video (1981–1986)|
Merv Griffin Enterprises was an American television production company founded by Merv Griffin, in business for 31 years from 1963 to 1994.
The company was first established as Milbarn Productions on March 7, 1963 and later as Merv Griffin Productions on March 5, 1964. Griffin's first production under the Milbarn name was Word for Word. Griffin's second game show was Jeopardy! as Griffin's first production under the MGP name on March 30, 1964. In May 1965, his talk show The Merv Griffin Show returned to television. Griffin also created the game show Shopper's Bazaar, which was later changed to the famous name Wheel of Fortune on January 6, 1975 after Jeopardy! was canceled on January 3, 1975. Griffin revived Jeopardy! as The All-New Jeopardy! on October 2, 1978, though it was proven to be unsuccessful. Merv Griffin Productions also owned the post-production studio Trans-American Video (TAV) that was founded on June 29, 1981.
In 1982, the company joined forces with King World (now CBS Television Distribution) to syndicate a nightly version of Wheel of Fortune. The company also had the rights to syndicate The Merv Griffin Show until 1986 when Columbia Pictures Television distributed the final episodes. KW also distributed the first two pilots of Jeopardy in 1983 and January 9, 1984. In 1984, Griffin expanded his company as Merv Griffin Enterprises and during the same year, Jeopardy! also returned to television on September 10. On May 5, 1986, Griffin sold the company to The Coca-Cola Company (then-owner of Columbia Pictures Industries) for $250 million during his semi-retirement. TAV however, was not included in the deal. Griffin, however, still held the copyrights of the game shows. The company later merged into Columbia Pictures on December 21, 1987, and was sold to Sony Corporation along with CPE's other companies on November 8, 1989.
Merv Griffin Enterprises was folded into Columbia TriStar Television (now Sony Pictures Television) on June 4, 1994. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! were taken over by CTT starting in September of that year, while Griffin remained executive producer for both game shows until 2000. Griffin later founded Merv Griffin Entertainment on May 13, 1996.
- The Merv Griffin Show (1962–1963; 1965–1986)
- Word for Word (1963–1964)
- Jeopardy! (1964–1975, 1983 pilot, 1984 pilot, 1984–present; production responsibilities assumed in 1994 by Columbia TriStar Television and later Sony Pictures Television; distributed in syndication since September 10, 1984 by King World, now CBS Television Distribution in the US)
- Let's Play Post Office (1965–1966)
- Reach for the Stars (1967)
- One in a Million (1967)
- Memory Game (1971)
- Wheel of Fortune (1975–1991, daytime version; 1983–present, nighttime version; production responsibilities assumed in 1994 by Columbia TriStar Television and later Sony Pictures Television; nighttime version distributed since September 19, 1983 by King World, now CBS Television Distribution)
- The All New Jeopardy! (1978-1979)
- Dance Fever (1979–1987; co-production and distributed by 20th Century Fox Television)
- Headline Chasers (1985; co-production with Wink Martindale Enterprises and Distributed by King World)
- Winfall (1988; unsold pilot for CBS hosted by Clint Holmes)
- Monopoly (1990; co-produced by King World)
- Super Jeopardy! (1990; co-produced by King World)
- Ruckus (1991)
- Google Books – Lights, Camera, Computers! InfoWorld, June 20, 1983
- "Structuring and restructuring". Broadcasting: 66. 1986-05-12.
- "Los Angeles Times" Company Town Annex articles.latimes.com, Retrieved on July 1, 2013
- "New York Times" Sony-Griffin Deal nytimes.com, Retrieved on July 1, 2013
- "Business Profiles / New York" MERV GRIFFIN ENTERTAINMENT, INC. businessprofiles.com, Retrieved on February 10, 2013