Friday, August 10, 2007

"Crosswords" Creator Griffin Dead Of Cancer, 82

(Edited from a previous post)

Merv Griffin, the 82-year-old talk-show icon and game show creator who was rediagnosed with prostate cancer in July, has died.

Griffin's newest show, "Merv Griffin's Crosswords", with Ty Treadway as host, is set to premiere September 10 on stations around the country. The show reportedly will keep its name as a tribute to its creator.

Griffin, who started as a band singer with Freddy Martin's orchestra, hosted a late-night talk show for CBS that went up against similar offerings from Johnny Carson on NBC and Joey Bishop on ABC, then took his show into syndication where it did much better thanks to earlier time slots in most markets.

Griffin was responsible for creating two of the biggest game shows of all time - "Jeopardy!" in 1964 and "Wheel of Fortune" in 1975. Although they did well on network television, the syndicated versions - entering their 24th and 25th seasons in the fall, respectively - made Griffin a very wealthy man. He also had interests in closed-circuit racetrack betting very early in that game, and also owned hotels and other real estate, including (at one time) the Resorts hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Meanwhile, "Merv Griffin's Crosswords", presently in production at Tribune Studios in Hollywood, is still looking for contestants. Give the contestant staff a call at (323) 762-8282 if you think you've got what it takes to play the crossword game.

No comments: