Merv Griffin Enterprises

Merv Griffin Enterprises was an American television production company founded by Merv Griffin, in business for 31 years from 1963 to 1994.

Merv Griffin Enterprises
Milbarn Productions (1963-1964)
Merv Griffin Productions (1964-1984)
IndustryTelevision Production
FateFolded into Columbia TriStar Television
SuccessorsColumbia TriStar Television (1994-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
Merv Griffin Entertainment
FoundedMarch 7, 1963 (1963-03-07)
FounderMerv Griffin
DefunctJune 4, 1994 (1994-06-04)
OwnerSony Corp. (1989-1994)
ParentIndependent (1964–1986)
The Coca-Cola Company (1986–1987)
Columbia Pictures Entertainment (1987–1991)
Sony Pictures Entertainment (1991–1994)
SubsidiariesTrans-American Video (1981–1986)
Califon Productions
Jeopardy Productions
Anthony Productions


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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3][4] Griffin later founded Merv Griffin Entertainment on May 13, 1996.[5]

Television programs


  1. Google Books – Lights, Camera, Computers! InfoWorld, June 20, 1983
  2. "Structuring and restructuring". Broadcasting: 66. 1986-05-12.
  3. "Los Angeles Times" Company Town Annex, Retrieved on July 1, 2013
  4. "New York Times" Sony-Griffin Deal, Retrieved on July 1, 2013
  5. "Business Profiles / New York" MERV GRIFFIN ENTERTAINMENT, INC., Retrieved on February 10, 2013
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