over 2000 hours, more than 5000 guests, from the ’60s through the ’80s — a comprehensive archive of the most important people in popular culture.
Acknowledged as one of the premier talk shows in the history of television, The Merv Griffin Show ran daily for some 25 years — from October 1962 to September 1986. Over the course of that time, a massive archive containing thousands upon thousands of hours of footage with over 5,000 guests joining Merv. Reelin’ In The Years Productions will be bringing its vast experience in the field of licensing to market the footage from the show. The company has already begun the process of meticulously cataloguing the library, and has started making footage available for clips to be used in various documentary productions. RITY is also exploring the possibility of repackaging the programs for television, digital and home video markets.
The Merv Griffin Show archive contains a “who’s who” of notable guests including many significant cultural, political, social and musical icons of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Four U.S. Presidents — Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan appeared as did Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy. Legendary actors and directors that appeared on the program include Orson Welles, Robert De Niro, Sophia Loren, Dustin Hoffman, John Wayne and Grace Kelly. Musical performers and composers ranging from Devo to Aretha Franklin with Andrew Lloyd Weber, Marvin Gaye, The Bee Gees and Johnny Cash all guesting. The Merv Griffin Show hosted the late Whitney Houston’s first TV appearance in 1983. Sports figures interviewed by Merv on the show include Joe Namath and Reggie Jackson. In addition, many of the most important comedians of the era were on the show including early performances by George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman, Steve Martin and Jerry Seinfeld. The fashion industry is also well represented including interviews and fashion shows of the day with Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Halston and Giorgio Armani.
Commenting on the The Merv Griffin Show archive, Reelin’ In The Years founder and president David Peck stated, “Representing The Merv Griffin Show is truly a great honor. Of course, the archive is one of the most prestigious in all of television and the holdings are nothing short of incredible in terms of being both historically relevant and entertaining. Many of the most important names in the fields of music, entertainment, politics, sports, fashion and literature are part of this monumental archive. My company has long specialized in music footage, but with the addition of The Merv Griffin Show archive, we’re excited to branch out and represent footage of all of the great guests that appeared on the program – many of whom helped shape the culture of America and the modern world.
Reelin’ In The Years Productions was founded in 1992 and represents over 40 television stations and independent archives in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Representing a combined library of over 20,000 hours spanning seven decades, RITY has become a world leader in placing footage in movies, television, digital/online media, DVDs and CDs. The signing of The Merv Griffin Show comes close on the heels of RITY’s recent signings of the music performances from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962 – 1992), The Jack Benny Show and The Bob Hope archive containing over 280 Bob Hope Specials from 1950 – 1994.