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‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Host Pat Sajak Reveals The Person Who ‘Quite Literally’ Saved The Show

The name Harry Friedman might not mean anything to you, but it’s one you’ve probably seen hundreds, if not thousands of time. Friedman is an executive producer for both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, arguably the two most iconic game shows in television history, and according to Variety, he “holds a Guinness World Record for having produced 12,540 game show episodes, more than any other individual, and is the only producer to have won two Emmys in the same category in a tie with himself.”

Friedman announced last year that he would be retiring at the end of his contract, which is today. In that same Variety piece, Sajak credits him as the guy who “quite literally” saved Wheel of Fortune. Back in the (early) ’90s, Vanna White had to manually turn the letters on the big board, which isn’t exactly the most grueling of jobs. But it was a cumbersome process, where “between puzzles, the crew would have to stop taping, draw huge duvetyn curtains in front of the puzzle board, and replace each letter in each light box. The process stretched out a half-hour show to 45 or 50 minutes of taping.”

But Friedman, who also discontinued the five-wins-in-a-row-only rule on Jeopardy! (paving the way for streak legends Ken Jennings, Arthur Chu, and James Holzhauer), had an obvious-in-retrospect idea: why not make the board electronic?

“Harry quite literally saved the show when it desperately needed a strong dose of creativity,” said Sajak.

No one is more thankful for Friedman than Vanna White.

Anyway, Wheel of Fortune is posting its best ratings in years, and the Jeopardy! GOAT tournament was a genuine sensation, and both are largely due to Friedman. I get that he’s retiring, but I mean, if he wants to help with the Supermarket Sweep revival