53 Year-Old Game Shows for $1000, Please

Answer: America’s longest running game show premiered on this day in 1964.
What is “Jeopardy”?

With many more than 7,000 episodes aired, “Jeopardy!” has won a record 33 Daytime Emmy Awards. In January 2001, TV Guide ranked the show number two on its “50 Greatest Game Shows” list—second only to ”The Price Is Right.” Additionally, “Jeopardy” has gained a worldwide following thanks to running in slightly different versions in Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Israel, and Australia. The American version of ”Jeopardy” airs around the world as well. The series, which used to run weekly, has been airing daily for 33 years.

Answer: The creator of “Jeopardy”.
Who Is Merv Griffin?

The series launched on NBC on March 30, 1964 and aired until January 3, 1975. After that, a weekly primetime version aired from September 1974 to September 1975, followed by “All-New Jeopardy!”, which ran on NBC from October 1978 to March 1979. The current version, the daily syndicated show with host Alex Trebek, premiered on September 10, 1984 and is still going strong.

Answer: The brains behind “Jeopardy.”
Who is Julann Griffin, Merv’s wife?

In a 1964 Associated Press article written just before the original ”Jeopardy” premiered, Merv Griffin remembered the series’ creation this way:

“My wife Julann just came up with the idea one day when we were in a plane…I was mulling over game show ideas, when she noted that there had not been a successful ‘question and answer’ game on the air since the quiz show scandals. Why not do a switch, and give the answers to the contestant and let them come up with the question? She fired a couple of answers to me: ‘5,280’ – and the question of course was ‘How many feet in a mile?’. I loved the idea, went straight to NBC with the idea, and they bought it without even looking at a pilot show.”

The original ”Jeopardy” premiered on NBC on March 30, 1964 and quickly rose to the second-highest rated daytime game show of the time, behind “Hollywood Squares”. “Jeopardy” remained a hit until 1974, when a schedule change shifted it out of noon. Ratings fell, and after 2,753 episodes, the original ”Jeopardy” series ended on January 3, 1975. To compensate Griffin for the cancellation, NBC purchased “Wheel of Fortune,” another of his creations, which is doing just fine, 45 years later.

“Jeopardy” returned to primetime during the 1974-1975 season, featuring many contestants who were previously champions on the original series. It came back to daytime on September 10, 1984, riding the wave of electronic trivia games in bars and the board game Trivial Pursuit. This time, Jeopardy had even more success and has gone on to outlast more than 300 other game shows and is the second-highest rated game show in syndication, after sibling “Wheel of Fortune”.

Several spin-offs of “Jeopardy” have launched including the Jeff Probst-hosted “Rock and Roll Jeopardy” on VH1 in 1998, and the Dan Patrick-hosted “Sports Jeopardy!” which airs on NBC Sports Network.

Answer: The most sincere form of flattery
What is imitation?

On a 1996 episode of “Saturday Night Live”, Will Ferrell portrayed Alex Trebek in what would be a recurring role as a host who struggles to deal with inept celebrity contestants including regular characters Sean Connery and Burt Reynolds.

Answer: The name of the signature song that counts down the contestants’ time in Final Jeopardy
What is “Think!”

“Think!” was written by Merv Griffin as a lullaby for his son, Tony. In 2005, Griffin told the New York Times that he put the jingle together in under a minute. It is one of the most profitable minutes ever. Griffin estimated he earned about $80 million in royalties from the song alone.

And a last one for the Jeopardy trivia buffs…

Answer: Alex Trebek’s replacement on April Fool’s Day in 1997.
Who is Pat Sajak?

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