Harry Friedman, the record breaking game show producer, has decided to step down from his executive producer role on “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” after his contract expires in 2020.
The decision brings to an end a 25-year career for Friedman at Sony Pictures Television, which produces the two shows. Over the course of his five decades in the industry, Friedman has produced more than 6,270 hours of game shows and has become the most decorated game show producer in history with 14 Emmys to his name.
“I think all of you know how much I love these shows, and that I deeply respect how hard you’ve worked to make them so successful,” Friedman said when he made the announcement to his team on the “Jeopardy!” set. “We’ve celebrated a lot of milestones together, and now with my own personal 25th anniversary milestone just a few months away, it felt like this was the right time for me to step away. Please join me in making this the best season yet.”
Friedman became a producer on “Wheel of Fortune” in 1995, adding producer responsibilities for “Jeopardy!” in 1997. He holds three world records, including the one for most game show episodes ever produced.
His record encompasses his work on thousands of episodes for the two shows, in addition to “Jeopardy!” spinoffs “Rock & Roll Jeopardy!” (which aired on VH1 from 1998-2001), and “Jep!” (which aired on Game Show Network from 1998-2000). His record also includes episodes of shows he produced prior to joining “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” including “Hollywood Squares,” “The New Hollywood Squares,” “Personals,” and “Caesar’s Challenge.”
The prolific producer’s other two records are for most Emmy nominations for a game show producer, and most Emmy wins by a game show producer.
“Wheel of Fortune” is currently in production on its 37th season, while “Jeopardy!” is taping season 36. Both shows are produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed by CBS Television Distribution.