Merv Griffin Earned Fortune Jeopardy Theme Song Net Worth is
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Profession: Actor | Singer | Business magnate | Screenwriter | Television Producer | Presenter | Film Score Composer
Date of Birth: 1925-07-06
Nicknames: M. Griffin, Mervyn Edward Griffin Jr., Mervyn Edward "Merv" Griffin, Jr., Merv Griffin & his Organization, Mervyn Edward Griffin, Jr.
Height: 1.75 m
Ethnicity: Irish American
Country: San Mateo
We here at Celebrity Net Worth love writing about song royalties. Getting rich off a hit song's royalties just seems like such a cool way to live. For example, did you know that Sting still earns an estimated $2000 a day off royalties to the song "Every Breath You Take"? That's $730,000 a year without getting out of bed. In total, Sting has earned over $20 million in royalties off that one song in the last 30 years. How cool is that?! But to all you aspiring Stings out there, if you want to get rich making music you may want to spend less time writing pop hits for the radio and more time writing theme songs for game shows. Right before he died in 2007, Jeopardy creator Merv Griffin shocked the world when he revealed the astonishing amount of money he had earned in royalties from writing the show's famous "Final Jeopardy" theme music. A song he cranked out in under 30 seconds. Merv Griffin created Jeopardy for the television network NBC in 1964. His wife Julann actually came up with the show's concept on a flight from Minnesota to New York. Once the plane landed, Merv headed straight for NBC where network executives bought the show on the spot, without a script or a pilot. The first version of Jeopardy was actually broadcast in mornings and early afternoons before becoming the internationally syndicated nighttime game show that we are all familiar with today. During its nearly 50 year run, the show has aired over 9400 episodes and has spawned 30 international adaptations around the globe. The Jeopardy version we are familiar with today with Alex Trebek premiered in 1984. This most recent iteration has won 30 daytime Emmys and averages 25 million viewers each week. And we haven't even talked about re-runs which air continuously throughout the world on dozens of channels, 24 hours a day - 365 days a year. Over the last 50 years, Jeopardy has used a few different songs for its main theme music but the tune that's played during Final Jeopardy has always been the same. That tune is a song called "Think". "Think" was originally written by Merv in 1963 as a lullaby to help his five year old son Tony fall asleep. The song's original title was actually "A Time for Tony" and, according to Merv, it only took around 30 seconds to write. "Think" is the song we all associate with Jeopardy today and has been since 1984 when the Alex Trebek Jeopardy era premiered. Since 1984, re-worked renditions of "Think" have been used both for Final Jeopardy and as the show's main theme music. Merv sold his company "Merv Griffin Enterprises" to Coca-Cola in 1986 for a whopping $250 million. The sale included both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, but Merv retained ownership of "Think". Just like a pop song, Merv gets paid every time his song is used commercially. In other words, every time an episode of Jeopardy airs around the world, including re-runs and foreign adaptations, Merv gets paid. He also gets paid any time the song is played publicly like during a sporting event or in a movie. Technically his estate gets paid now since Merv unfortunately died in 2007 of prostate cancer at the age of 82. So, how much had Merv earned of royalties up until that point? Luckily, in a 2005 interview with the New York Times, a reporter asked Merv this exact question. His reply: "You dont want to know...That little 30 seconds has made me a fortune, millions!... Probably $70-80 million." $70-80 million. From a game show theme song. A game show theme song that has never topped the Billboard charts and has probably never even been played on the radio or sold as a single at a record store. And in the eight years since that interview took place, it's safe to assume the total royalty income for the song "Think" has grown to $90-100 million. The most famous Jeopardy contestant of all time Ken Jennings earned $2.5 million off his record setting 74 game winning streak. In order for Ken Jennings to make $80 million, he would have to win 2,368 games in a row. That would require Jennings to win every episode of Jeopardy for 10 years straight. Obviously that's an unrealistic scenario, but $80 million is four times the amount Sting has made off "Every Breath You Take". It's also almost three times more than Paul McCartney and John Lennon have earned off "Yesterday". So next time you make a list of the most prolific and successful songwriters of all time, don't forget to include Merv Griffin. Oh and one more thing about Merv Griffin - In the 80s and 90s he become an incredibly successful real estate and hotel entrepreneur. At one point he even owned the world famous Beverly Hilton hotel. When Merv died in 2007, his net worth was estimated at $1.3 BILLION! Not bad for a former talk show host.
Mervyn Edward "Merv" Griffin, Jr. (July 6, 1925 a?? August 12, 2007) was an American television host, musician, actor, and media mogul. He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in film and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986 Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show, produced by Westinghouse Broadcasting (also known as Group W). He also created the game shows Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Click, and Merv Griffin's Crosswords with his own television production companies, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Merv Griffin Entertainment. During his lifetime, Griffin was considered an entertainment business magnate.
Griffin was born into an Irish American family on July 6, 1925, in Palm Springs, California to Mervyn Edward Griffin, Sr., a stock broker, and Rita Elizabeth Griffin (nA(C)e Robinson), a homemaker. Raised as a Roman Catholic, Griffin started singing in his church choir as a boy, and by his teens was earning extra money as a church organist. This is one of the reasons he got into show business early; he was considered a piano prodigy. He attended San Mateo High School, graduating in 1942, and continued to aid in financing the school. He was a member of the international fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon.
During World War II, Griffin was declared 4F after failing several military physical exams due to having a slight heart murmur. Drafted for service during the Korean War, he was then deemed fit for service, but was considered too old as the drafting age limit was 26 and he had just turned 27.
Griffin started as a singer on radio at age 19, appearing on San Francisco Sketchbook, a nationally syndicated program based at KFRC. Griffin was overweight as a teenager, which disappointed his radio fans. Embarrassed by their reaction, Griffin resolved to lose weight and change his image, losing 80 pounds in four months. Freddy Martin heard him on the radio show and asked Griffin to tour with his orchestra, which he did for four year

Merv Griffin Earned Fortune Jeopardy Theme Song Latest News

Hollywood legend Merv Griffin dies

Merv ... The “Jeopardy” theme song, “Think!” was originally composed as “A Time for Tony” by Griffin as a lullaby for his son. It has insinuated itself into everyday life; Griffin at one time estimated that the song had earned him over $70 ...
Posted: August 12, 2007, 2:40 am

Merv Griffin leaves an entertainment empire

Who was Merv Griffin ... earned him $250 million; he retained a share of the shows' profits. He also pocketed millions in royalties for composing the catchy Jeopardy! theme. New technology, such as cellular phones, has meant more money for the song.
Posted: August 11, 2007, 5:00 pm

‘Jeopardy!’ creator Griffin dies

Merv Griffin ... He then continued to run it. Griffin remained the executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” and continued to earn royalties every time the “Jeopardy!” theme, which he composed, was played. In 2006, he estimated ...
Posted: August 12, 2007, 5:00 pm
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