Merv Griffin

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The Biz: Revisiting The Merv Griffin Show

Zsa Zsa Gabor and Merv Griffin

Merv Griffin died in 2007, but he lives on in TV history thanks to having created the remarkably durable game shows Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. He even composed the iconic Jeopardy theme song. But for baby boomers, Griffin will always be remembered for his talk show that ran in several incarnations from 1962 to 1986. Thanks to a hilarious impersonation by SCTV's Rick Moranis, Griffin developed a reputation for being an obsequious lightweight who ooh-ed and ahh-ed at every word his guests said.

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Special Report: TV's Hosts With the Most

Ryan Seacrest

No one has come close to replicating the power and fortune amassed by legendary TV hosts Dick Clark, Merv Griffin and Oprah Winfrey — yet. But American Idol's Ryan Seacrest is on his way, and others are right behind.

Today's TV hosts aren't satisfied with just their day jobs. If you don't have multiple shows, a line of licensed merchandise and a production company, you're not trying hard enough. It's all about creating empires, and... read more

Publicist: Zsa Zsa Gabor Asks to Receive Last Rites

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor has asked to see a priest and receive her last rites, her publicist tells TVGuide.com.

Zsa Zsa Gabor undergoes successful hip surgery

The actress, 93, was admitted to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to have two blood clots removed on Saturday, The Associated Press reports. It also marked her 24th wedding anniversary to husband Frederic von Anhalt.

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Live Emmy Blog

10:35: Stephen Colbert joins Jon Stewart on stage with a leaf blower. Ah, another bit about the "green" Emmys. The leaf blower, Colbert says, runs on "Al Gore's tears. He's a crybaby."10:37: Colbert accuses Stewart of flying to L.A. in his "private jet sandwich." Eesh. They're trying too hard. Where's Bruce Vilanch when you need him? I mean, I love me some Stewart and Colbert, but this feels forced.10:39: Kyra Sedgwick clearly agrees with me. She's smiling so hard, I feel her pain.10:40: Ricky Gervais wins Lead Actor, Comedy. "Ricky couldn't be here tonight, so instead we're going to give this to our friend Steve Carell," Stewart says. See? Right there, that was funnier than the whole leaf blower bit. Especially when Carell runs on stage.10:40:30: Felicity Huffman is presenting with House. God, those Housewives really do hate each other, don't they?10:41: Sally Field wins Lead Actress, Drama. Terrified of the Muzak, Sally is talking faster than a teenager after a double latte. The v... read more

Merv Griffin, Dead at 82, Remembered as "Renaissance Man" and "Genius"

Merv Griffin by Jemal Countess/WireImage.com

Game-show bigwig Merv Griffin, 82, died of prostate cancer early on Sunday. His family issued a statement explaining that his recurrence of prostate cancer, for which he was hospitalized earlier in the week, progressed quickly.The veteran talk-show host created a multimillion-dollar empire in the entertainment industry, most notably by producing Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Wheel host Pat Sajak tells the Hollywood Reporter, "The loss of a dear friend has made it difficult to focus on Merv's enormous contribution to the world of entertainment. I'm dealing with deep sadness and the realization that I will never hear that wonderful laugh of his again. He meant so much to my life, it's hard to imagine it without him."Former first lady Nancy Reagan remembers Griffin as "a dear, dear friend," telling the trade, "He was there for me on some of the hardest days when Ronnie was fighting Alzheimer's." "To say that working with Merv Griffin was the highlight of our careers is an understatem... read more

M-rv Gr-ff-n's Lifelong Wheel of Fortune

Merv Griffin by Lester Cohen/WireImage.com

Merv Griffin was the anti-Trump. No matter how many riches he amassed through creating the formidably successful game-show phenom of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, this band singer turned talk-show host turned entertainment mogul turned hotel/real-estate magnate never projected an air of arrogance or entitlement. Publicly affable to the end, Griffin (who died Sunday at 82) was one of those rare talents whose success only a grinch would begrudge — in part because the ubiquitous shows he's best known for continue to provide so much pleasure on a nightly basis. That lilting, nagging Jeopardy theme? He wrote it. That alone is enough to ensure him a place in the annals of TV history.But he also had a long, profitable run as a talk-show host, primarily in syndication. He was never the coolest or funniest (that would be Johnny Carson), he was never the most trenchant (that would be Dick Cavett), but he was an effortless entertainer who put the audience at ease even as he occasionally... read more

Reports Say Merv Griffin Is "Gravely Ill"

Merv Griffin by Lester Cohen/WireImage.com

Game-show mogul Merv Griffin, 82, is reportedly "gravely ill," according to Entertainment Tonight. The Jeopardy! creator was hospitalized and treated for prostate cancer — a recurrence of which was discovered during a routine medical exam — at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in July, but sources now tell ET that his prognosis does not look good.Griffin's reps have yet to confirm or deny these reports. read more

Even While Fighting Cancer, Merv Griffin Still Calls the Shots

Ty Treadway courtesy Priority Public Relations

Merv Griffin may be in a Los Angeles hospital being treated for a recurrence of prostate cancer, but illness hasn't dampened the talk-show host turned production mogul's notorious hands-on approach. His staff sent a copy of Merv Griffin's Crosswords, his new syndicated game show debuting Sept. 10, to his Cedars-Sinai Medical Center room, and Griffin, who devised the concept and wrote all the music for the show, took a look and decided host Ty Treadway needed a new haircut. "Send him to my guy," Griffin told his staff. Treadway, who is sporting a new, spiky look these days, tells TV Guide, "It took an 82-year-old to make me look a little cooler." — Reporting by Ileane Rudolph read more

Nielsens Smile on Bill Engvall, and More Short Cuts

Bill Engvall by Art Streiber/TBS

TBS' The Bill Engvall Show debuted on Tuesday to 3.9 million total viewers, making it the No. 3 most-watched basic-cable sitcom telecast ever, trailing only the first two episodes of TBS' House of Payne.... Merv Griffin has been hospitalized for a recurrence of prostate cancer discovered during a routine examination a few weeks ago, says the AP.... The Last Mimzy topped the DVD sales chart last week, while Shooter was the No. 1 rental for a third straight cycle.... Standing still pays. Gisele Bundchen tops Forbes.com's list of the world's richest models, having earned $33 million in the last 12 months. (Money can't buy a new birth date for your beau's illegitimate child, though.) Kate Moss ($9 mil) placed No. 2, followed by Heidi Klum ($8 mil). read more

The Guy Inside Big Bird Is Flying High

Caroll Spinney adds a special award to Big Bird's nest.

On April 28, puppeteer Caroll Spinney, the man who has brought Big Bird to life since Sesame Street's 1969 debut, will be honored at the Daytime Emmys with a Lifetime Achievement Award. At last week's nominations event, TVGuide.com chatted with Spinney about his fine-feathered friend's big night — but alas, not before he put away his other alter ego, a certain green Grouch. (Kids, click away now before I traumatize you with too much about Sesame Street's inner workings.) TVGuide.com: I see that you just packed Oscar away in his duffel bag....Caroll Spinney: That's what he likes best. That way, he doesn't have people bothering him. TVGuide.com: How has your j read more

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The Merv Griffin Show Greatest Comedians
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