It just may be happy days for the Whoopi Goldberg-less “Hollywood Squares” as Henry Winkler rides behind the scenes for the faltering gamer’s fifth season.
Joining the former Fonz as a fellow “Squares” exec producer will be Michael Levitt, best known for producing “The Billboard Music Awards” and “The Blockbuster Awards” for four years each.
The duo replace past showrunners John Moffitt and Pat Lee Tourk, who “Squares” distrib King World let go days after Goldberg revealed she was leaving as the gamer’s center square (Daily Variety, April 14).
King World CEO Roger King joked that he gave Winkler — who’s never run a gamer before — the job because “he’s the Fonz, and he threatened to beat me up!”
Winkler and Levitt were actually brought on because of their Hollywood connections, he added.
Tracking 24% below its season-to-date perf was this time last year, the gamer “is dying,” admitted King.
King said he’s open to a “Squares” reunion of Fonzie and the gang. He promised the new center square will be as A-list as Goldberg and said he expects to make a decision in the next few weeks.
Winkler’s main focus these days is TV production via his Fair Dinkum shingle.
ICM reps both Winkler and Levitt.