Harry main

Harry Friedman (born November 12, 1946 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a writer and producer whose career began as a writer for The Hollywood Squares in 1971, leading to a relationship with Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions that included assistance in developing Gambit (1972-76/1980-81) and High Rollers (1974-76/1978-80/1987-88).

Friedman later produced Hollywood Squares (1986-89), Caesars Challenge (1993-94, with a notable moment late in its run {with the "five words" endgame} where the slot machine wished him a happy birthday), and Pyramid (2002-04).

Wheel of FortuneEdit

"What we're trying to do is continually make the show interesting and fresh but not change the basic game."

Harry was contacted around late May 1995 by an old friend: Alan Levine, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. It was felt that Wheel was becoming tired and dated under Nancy Jones, and that it needed to be taken in a different direction. Friedman was interviewed, and announced as the new producer on June 14; he is known to have appeared on-camera on the 22nd.

During Friedman's first taping as producer, he noticed that it took an hour to tape a 30-minute show due to the manual, trilon-based puzzle board that had been used since 1974 and had expanded in December 1981. His first order of business was to see about making the puzzle board fully electronic, which was not realized until February 1997.

Harry was promoted to co-executive producer with Merv Griffin for Season 17, after which Merv retired and he became the sole executive producer. He also became producer of Jeopardy! during this time, eventually being promoted to executive producer there as well.

Friedman is responsible for the show's current online reach and many of its current gameplay elements, including (but not limited to) the idea of having a constant stream of themed weeks. In 2011, he became the first producer to tie with himself at the Emmy Awards, winning his 9th and 10th Daytime Emmys when Wheel and Jeopardy! tied for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show.


On August 1, 2019, Sony Pictures Television announced that Friedman will retire as executive producer prior to the start of 2019-20 for both ''Jeopardy!'' and ''Wheel of Fortune''. He will be succeeded by Mike Richards starting in the 2020-21 season.


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