HomeAmerican EntertainmentTVJeopardyFormer ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ EP Harry Friedman Comes Out of Retirement for New Game Show

Former ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ EP Harry Friedman Comes Out of Retirement for New Game Show

by Taylor Cunningham
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(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Former Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune executive producer Harry Friedman is getting back to work after retiring over two years ago.

Friedman will once again be serving as EP and also as showrunner. But this time, he’ll be stepping into a different type of gameshow with NBC’s Capital One College Bowl Season 2.

College Bowl, which debuted in 2021, is a quiz show that features college students from 16 universities, and contestants answer questions on several different subjects. Last year, two-time Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli Manning hosted the show. And the legendary brothers will return to the screen this year with Friedman.

Both Peyton and Eli are executive producers of the Village Roadshow Television and Universal Television Alternative Studio series along with Richard Reid and Mark Itkin. And the team works under the Mannings’ own Omaha Productions company.

Former ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ EP to Work Alongside Manning Brothers

Capital One College Bowl is a reboot of the original College Bowl, which aired from 1959 to 1963 and then again from 1979 to 1982 on CBS. The gameshow also ran on the Disney Channel in 1987.

This most recent reboot has been a major hit for the Mannings. Even in its first year, the show brought in around 2.7 million viewers watching each week, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Because of its success, Harry Friedman decided to join the football greats for at least one more season. And the showrunner will lend years of expertise to keep the series on the air for years to come.

In 2020, Friedman gave up his spot on Jeopardy! after being with the show for 21 years, and that same year, he also retired from Wheel of Fortune after 25. During his career, Friedman also worked on Hollywood Squares. And while there, he earned his first of 14 Daytime Emmy Awards.

Throughout his work, Friedman also won the Daytime Emmy lifetime achievement award and earned his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But one of Harry Friedman’s most memorable achievements was saving Wheel of Fortune from ruin. When he took over in 1997, the show’s ratings were tumbling. The producer made the call to switch the gameboard to a digital variety, which cut down filming time and made the process more bearable for hosts Vana White and Pat Sajak.

“Harry quite literally saved the show when it desperately needed a strong dose of creativity,” Sajak told Variety in 2020.

Harry Friedman went on to produce so many shows for Sony Pictures Television that he earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World records with 12,540 game show episodes. Friedman worked his last day with Sony on May 1st, 2020.

“There’s no one in this business I respect more,” said Sajak upon Friedman’s leaving. “I will miss his tremendous talent, his unerring instincts, and his genuine kindness. He is simply the best.”

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