They produced Jeopardy , The Wheel of Fortune , Dance Fever , Headline Chasers and others . They owned the Celebrity Theater and Trans America Video , a post production company that was housed on the entire block of Sunset and Vine , which they also owned , and a fleet of mobile television trucks housed in Las Vegas . He pioneered location programming by bringing The Merv Griffin Show to Caesar ’ s Palace for the next fifteen years , ten weeks every year . Their Celebrity Theater became the production home of other top shows , like Entertainment Tonight when they were out of town . There were five radio stations and a racetrack television company . Schwartz innovated television Syndication selling their shows market-by-market in prime time , while they were also televised on the network during the day . Murray arranged for the Merv Griffin show to travel around the world , like Venice , Rome , Monaco , Paris , Mexico . It was costly to finance these trips . Again , he innovated with additional sponsorship for product placement , using language familiar to audiences today ; “ Production assistance was paid for and provided by the following ….”
Most notably , Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune remains top rated shows after almost a half century . A direct result of Murray ’ s pioneering inventiveness . Merv and Murray hired Susan Stafford and Chuck Woolery as the first hosts of Wheel of Fortune in 1975 . When they resigned , Vanna White and Pat Sajak took the reins in 1982 – 39 years ago . Murray hired Alex Trebek to host the return of Jeopardy in 1984 until his sad passing in 2020 .
Following a week of the Merv Griffin Show televising Princess Grace ’ s Tennis Tournament in Monte Carlo , he took a trip to Greece . On his way back to Paris , to catch up with Merv and his staff , he boarded Flight 139 . It was hijacked to Entebbe , Africa by the PLO . Schwartz and the other hostages were held prisoner by the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin until the daring rescue by Israeli commandos . That event is recognized as an historic military feat , documented in books and the film “ The Raid on Entebbe .” It was also a life-changing experience for Schwartz . As a tribute he brought the Merv Griffin Show to Israel , with the collaboration of Yitzhak Rabin the Prime Minister . That week of programming was a historic event for Murray and Merv as a crowning moment of twenty-five of the Merv Griffin Show .
Eventually , the company that Murray boldly imagined , Merv Griffin Enterprises , was sold to Coca Cola ( finalized by Murray at the famous 21 Club in New York City ).