Merv Griffin Enterprises
  • Milbarn Productions (1963–1964)
  • Merv Griffin Productions (1964–1984)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryTelevision Production
FoundedMarch 7, 1963; 60 years ago (1963-03-07)
FounderMerv Griffin
DefunctJune 4, 1994; 29 years ago (1994-06-04)
FateFolded into Columbia TriStar Television
Headquarters10202 West Washington Boulevard, ,
  • Trans-American Video (1981–1986)
  • Califon Productions
  • Jeopardy Productions
  • Anthony Productions
  • January Enterprises

Merv Griffin Enterprises was an American television production company founded by Merv Griffin, in operation from March 7, 1963, to June 4, 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 changed its name to 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 Media Ventures) to syndicate a nightly version of Wheel of Fortune. The company also had the rights to syndicate The Merv Griffin Show. 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. The company later became part of Columbia Pictures Entertainment on December 21, 1987,[3] 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. Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune were taken over by CTT starting in September of that year, while Griffin remained executive producer for both game shows until 2000.[4][5] Griffin later founded Merv Griffin Entertainment on May 13, 1996.[6]


One of the most prolific employees was Don Pardo. The others were Charlie O'Donnell, Jack Clark, John Harlan, M. G. Kelly, and Johnny Gilbert, who were also announcers on Griffin shows. Most of the above announcers also worked for Bob Stewart Productions. Future executive producer of Jeopardy!, Michael Davies, worked as a development associate at the company during the early 1990s.[7] Another employee was director Dick Carson, who also served as director for The Tonight Show for his brother Johnny Carson.[8]

Television programs


  1. ^ "Lights, Camera, Computers!". InfoWorld. June 20, 1983 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Structuring and restructuring". Broadcasting. May 12, 1986. p. 66.
  3. ^ Harris, Kathryn (September 2, 1987). "Coke, Tri-Star Confirm Plans for $3.1-Billion Deal". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  4. ^ "Company Town Annex". The Los Angeles Times. June 4, 1994. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "Sony-Griffin Deal". The New York Times. June 7, 1994. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  6. ^ "Business Profiles / New York" "MERV GRIFFIN ENTERTAINMENT, INC". Business Profile. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "A Note From Jeopardy! EP Michael Davies". December 9, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  8. ^ Barnes, Mike (January 9, 2022). "Dick Carson, Emmy Winning Director and Brother of Johnny Carson, Dies at 92". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 6, 2024.