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July 24, 2014

Merv Griffin

Rosie O'Donnell on 'Glee,' 'Family,' Team Coco and Love

by Michael Maloney, posted Jan 26th 2010 9:30AM
Rosie O'Donnell may not be voicing her opinions on 'The View' anymore, but she's still letting America know how she feels.

The outspoken and philanthropic Daytime Emmy-winner's next project is the HBO special 'A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration,' set to air Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. The documentary's goal is to heighten America's understanding of nontraditional families.

AOL was on the scene at the recent TV Critics Association's winter press tour when O'Donnell shared her thoughts on her HBO show, the pros and cons of TV versus radio and possibly guest-starring on 'Glee.'

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10 TV Talk Shows We Wish Hadn't Bit the Dust

by Leonard Jacobs, posted Jan 23rd 2010 10:00AM
And another one bites the dust.

Tyra Banks had long been contemplating ways to forge an Oprah-style media empire well before the debut of her eponymous talk show in 2005. Setting aside her guest shots on 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' in the 1990s, Banks decided to establish her TV-Q as a host by successfully launching 'America's Next Top Model' in 2003. That gave her the clout to fashion 'The Tyra Banks Show' -- which she segued to just three months after leaving the runway -- into something that was part tabloid, part tasteful.

Now that Banks has announced she's ending her talk show this season -- she'll be focusing on her production company, Bankable Studios, among other projects -- we formally add 'The Tyra Banks Show' to the pantheon of great talk shows we wish hadn't bit the dust.

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What do you think of the changes on Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy?

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 16th 2009 5:08PM
Wheel of FortuneThe new seasons of both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy started this week, and while most of the games are exactly the same, both shows debuted a couple of new things that might have hardcore game show fans talking.

First, WOF. They're in Las Vegas this week, and the game hasn't changed except for one thing: they've gotten rid of the "Free Spin" card! This doesn't have the same impact as Darrin being replaced on Bewitched or William Petersen leaving CSI, but when you take something away from hardcore game show fans, they can get pretty rowdy. I don't know if that will happen here since "Free Spin" has been replaced by a "Free Play" space on the wheel. If you land on this spot, you get to do anything you want: choose a consonant, ask for a vowel, etc, and if you're wrong it's OK, you don't lose your turn.

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Leno interviews for a summer job

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2009 8:03PM
Hey, I knew Jay Leno was a workaholic, but I didn't know that he'd actually want to work a summer gig as a fill-in entertainment reporter on PBS. Here he is getting interviewed by the anchor who wants to take some time off. I like how Leno knows the adlibbed bit is going on way too long.

[via TV Tattle]

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Ed McMahon in the hospital in very serious condition

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 27th 2009 3:26PM
One of television's biggest success and tragedy stories has started to take a turn for the worse.

TV legend Ed McMahon, 85, has been in the hospital for the last month and his condition has only gotten worse.

TMZ reported a source close to the family said his condition has been upgraded to "extremely serious" since he has been moved into an intensive care unit. He has also contracted pneumonia, which at his age can make things very serious.

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Wheel of Fortune contestants make me sad/crazy

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 31st 2009 10:02AM
Wheel of FortuneThe way that game show fans feel about Wheel of Fortune is so well-documented it has sort of become a cliche. Wheel of Fortune is for a certain type of person, and shows like Jeopardy are for another type. I don't know if I agree with that.

There's something for game show fans in each show, whether you're solving a letter puzzle or trying to answer a question about ancient Rome or literature, though I can certainly see why one would appeal to a person and the other wouldn't. But I have to admit that I drifted away from Wheel of Fortune for many years because of contestants such as the one from last night's episode.

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And then there's Maude...in the TV Hall of Fame

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 4th 2008 8:02AM
MaudeYou mean Bea Arthur wasn't already in the TV Academy Hall of Fame before today? Well, actually, that was Bea's choice. In a very Maude-like way, she had turned them down. "I said, `So sorry, very nice of you, but I can't possibly accept. There are so many talented people in the business,'" Arthur recalled.

However, she's had a chance to think it over and when asked again, she agreed to become a Hall of Famer, just like Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson and Bill Cosby.

As I wrote previously, the TV Academy Hall of Fame will expand to include Bea Arthur, Merv Griffin, Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H), Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch), and ABC executives Thomas Murphy and Daniel B. Burke. On December 9 in Beverly Hills, the awards will be presented.

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Ed McMahon sued (yes, again)

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 1st 2008 12:01PM
Ed McMahonEd McMahon is having the Worst. Year. Ever. Now people are reaching out from beyond the grave to sue him.

The ex-Tonight Show announcer and Star Search host, who is being sued by many people and also almost lost his home a month or so ago, is now being sued by Merv Griffin's company for $100,000. McMahon was having money problems back in 2005 and borrowed the money from Merv. The loan was supposed to be paid back starting last month but McMahon didn't make his first payment, so The Griffin Group, Inc. has filed suit against him. Griffin died last year.

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Five reasons I prefer classic Jeopardy - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 21st 2008 10:02AM
Jeopardy 1964When I read AOL's Top 20 Best Game Shows of All Time, I pretty much agreed with all the choices. I might have moved Password up a bit, and dropped Who Wants to Be A Millionaire to a lower slot, but the one selection that really made me glower was The Price Is Right as number one.

No, no, not to me. For me, the only choice for numero uno is Jeopardy. It's not a game of chance or luck or random spins of a wheel. It's all about brains and thinking on your feet. And maybe having really fast thumbs. Merv Grifffin's creation remains the best gameshow ever in my book.

As I was thinking about Jeopardy, I realized that for me, the best Jeopardy is not today's Alex Trebek version. I mean, it's great -- don't misunderstand me. It's the one I still prefer to watch today, but my favorite Jeopardy remains the pre-syndication edition, the one that played on NBC daytime from 1964-1975. No, I'm not nuts. I have five very good reasons why I prefer the original, classic Jeopardy.

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Was the idea for Merv Griffin's Crosswords stolen?

by Bob Sassone, posted May 8th 2008 2:27PM

Merv Griffin's CrosswordsMy knowledge of law and patents never got past reruns of L.A. Law, so I have no idea if this guy from New Jersey has a case or not.

The gentleman claims that he approached reps from Merv Griffin's company back in 2001 and pitched them the idea for a game show based on crossword puzzles. He says he even came up with the idea of the game's "twist" where you can take the other person's spot. He also patented the game. Now he has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court that says Merv's company took his idea and made the syndicated game show Merv Griffin's Crosswords (a show that I've tried and tried to get into but haven't been able to - though "Ty Treadway" is one of the great game show names of all-time though).

I remember reading an interview with Griffin where he said that he had been working on the idea for a crossword puzzle game show for years. Griffin, as you know, created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!

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Maude, Merv & M*A*S*H man entering Emmy Hall of Fame

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 18th 2008 3:20PM
Hall of FameEach year, the Emmys honor the best in current TV. They also recognize the all-time greats. This year Bea Arthur, Larry Gelbart, Merv Griffin, Daniel Burke, Tom Murphy and Sherwood Schwartz will be entering the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame. Grand choices, in my opinion, with only a minor quibble which I'll mention later.

According to ATAS chairman and CEO John Shaffner , "The Hall of Fame is a special recognition for those who have made significant contributions and have left an indelible mark on the television business." As Maude in the 1970's and Dorothy on The Golden Girls in the 1980's (into the '90s) Beatrice Arthur, made her mark. She was more effective on TV than she was in the theater, and she was a dynamo on stage.

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Some Wheel of mis-Fortune - VIDEO

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 17th 2008 12:13PM
wheel of fortuneOh, the humanity! Wheel of Fortune is not all frivolity and fun. Merv Griffin knew what he was doing when he created this venerable game show. Drama, ensues! You think it's so easy spinning the wheel, buying a vowel, laughing at Pat Sajak's jokes and ogling Vanna's gorgeous gait? Well, it's not. Under all that pressure you'd be surprised -- or maybe you wouldn't -- to see how some people simply come up short in the solution department. The letters all float together and instead of spelling a word you know as well as your own name, you pick the wrong consonant and you're WAH-WAHed in shame and regret. The fortune goes to the next player and you're left with egg on your face.

Watch these great examples and you'll see what I mean (a sample is after the jump). Like Jay Leno's simple "man in the street" questions about common knowledge, you see that there's no telling how stupid people can be, especially with a camera and microphone in their face.

[via digg]


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Pioneers of Television - DVD review

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 29th 2008 8:06AM
Pioneers of TelevisionPioneers of Television (in stores today) is a pretty big title for a documentary series, especially one that lasts only four episodes. You wonder, what are they going to mention and what are they going to leave out? This PBS show isn't the most comprehensive look I've seen on each of its subjects, but for one miniseries in one package, it's actually well put together, and you're going to see some TV footage, photos, and interviews I bet you've never seen before.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2008 5:03PM

Merv Griffin headstoneHere's what on the other blogs via the internets.

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Top TV Stories of 2007: People we've lost

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 26th 2007 8:00AM

Merv GriffinEach year in our "Top TV Stories" posts we look back at the number of celebrities and behind the scenes people that have passed away during the year. This is always a hard list to put together, so if I've missed anyone, please let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

This year we also lost someone very close to us.

Merv Griffin
Tom Snyder
Joel Siegel
Anna Nicole Smith
Robert Goulet
Joey Bishop

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