Heatter-Quigley Productions was an American television production company that was launched in 1960 by two former television writers, Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley.
The first game show they created was Video Village, a show first hosted by Jack Narz, later Red Rowe, and finally future Let's Make a Deal host, creator & producer Monty Hall. It was also the first new game show produced by anyone after the quiz show scandals.
The next few shows they created didn't last very long, but in 1965, they created & produced what turned out to be a breakthrough hit: The Hollywood Squares. A pilot episode of that show was produced that year at CBS Television City (a studio which would become the show's home from 1998 to 2004), with Bert Parks of Break the Bank (1) fame as the host and Morey Amsterdam of The Dick Van Dyke Show as the center square. The pilot was originally made for CBS, but over one year later, NBC picked up the show and new host Peter Marshall took over as the "Master of the Hollywood Squares" and has become a ground-breaking crowd favorite ever since. Prior to this success, Merrill & Bob's company was sold to Filmways.
One of the most unique thing about some of the Heatter-Quigley shows is that the key element or centerpiece in those shows were life-sized, gigantic or larger than life. Here's a few of them:
- Video Village, which has a gigantic life-sized game board to which the contestants can actually walk on. Its kid versions Video Village Junior & Shenanigans also have that kind of board.
- Hollywood Squares, which featured a giant tic-tac-toe board in which the celebrity panel sits.
- High Rollers, featuring an extra large pair of dice.
- Gambit, utilizing a large deck of playing cards in a game of blackjack.
- The Magnificent Marble Machine, which featured a huge pinball machine.
- Hot Seat, with an oversized lie detector (referred to by host Jim Peck as a "galvanic skin response machine").
The announcer for most of the Heatter-Quigley shows was Kenny Williams, although if Kenny missed a taping of a show, then Johnny Gilbert is the only known confirmed substitute announcer (as evidenced by Bedtime Stories) (it is unknown if Jack Clark or Jay Stewart had filled in for Williams on the condition Kenny missed a taping). The shows he didn't announce for were Temptation (1) (announced by Carl King) and The Magnificent Marble Machine (announced by Johnny Gilbert), with both shows hosted by Art James. Kenny passed away in February 1984.
In addition to creating game shows, they even found time to produce the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Wacky Races. This cartoon is now currently owned by Warner Brothers which holds the rights to all Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
In 1981 Bob Quigley retired from the TV business and Merrill Heatter ran the company solo; Quigley died in 1989. Most of the shows he produced were either revivals or new versions of his previously produced shows. Also, Filmways, the company that owned Heatter-Quigley folded into Orion Pictures, which produced movies such as Robocop and TV shows like Cagney & Lacey. On September 28, 1998, Heatter leased the worldwide rights to his solo-developed game shows to KingWorld for a short time. That option has now died; plus, KingWorld folded into CBS Television Distribution. Today the Heatter-Quigley shows are owned by MGM Television (a company into which Orion was folded) which for a brief period was in partnership with Sony Entertainment.
Heatter died peacefully at home on October 8, 2017.
Shows Produced[edit | edit source]
Titles by Heatter-Quigley Productions[edit | edit source]
- Video Village (1960–1962)
- Video Village Junior (1961-1962)
- Double Exposure (1961)
- People Will Talk (1963)
- The Celebrity Game (1964)
- Shenanigans (1964–1965)
- PDQ (1966–1969)
- Showdown (1966)
- The Hollywood Squares (1965 pilot, 1966-1981 version)
- Storybook Squares (1969/1976-1977), A kids version of Hollywood Squares.
- Temptation (1967–1968)
- Funny You Should Ask!! (1968–1969)
- Mad Mad Money (1968 unsold pilot for ABC)
- Lohman & Barkley's Name Droppers (1969-1970)
- Gambit (1972–1976)
- Runaround (1972–1973)
- The Amateur's Guide to Love (1972)
- Baffle (1973), a revival of PDQ.
- All-Star Baffle (1974), Baffle with no "civilian" contestants.
- High Rollers (1974-1976; 1978-1980)
- The Magnificent Marble Machine (1975–1976)
- Hot Seat (1976)
- The Confidence Game (1976 unsold pilot for NBC)
- To Say the Least (1977–1978)
- Bedtime Stories (1979)
- Las Vegas Gambit (1980–1981)
Titles by Merrill Heatter Productions[edit | edit source]
- Battlestars (1981–1982)
- Fantasy (1982–1983) (co-produced by Earl Greenberg Productions and Columbia Pictures Television [Now Sony Pictures Television])
- Malcolm (1983 unsold pilot for NBC)
- The New Battlestars (1983)
- Hot Numbers (1984 unsold pilot)
- All-Star Blitz (1985) (co-produced by Peter Marshall Enterprises)
- Lucky Numbers (1985 unsold pilot)
- Bargain Hunters (1987) (co-produced by Josephson Communications, Inc.)
- High Rollers (1987–1988) (co-produced by Century Towers Productions)
- The Last Word (1989–1990) (syndicated by Turner Program Services)
- The Love Psychic (1992 unsold pilot)
- Hollywood Teasers (1993 unsold pilot; proposed revival of All-Star Blitz)
- Casino (2002 unsold pilot for Game Show Network)
- Catch 21 (2008-2011, 2019-2020) (co-produced by Scott Sternberg Productions)
Heatter-Quigley Related Shows not produced by Heatter-Quigley[edit | edit source]
- The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour (1983-1984)
- Hollywood Squares/H2 (1985 pilot/1986-1989, 1998-2004)
- Hip Hop Squares A "Hip-Hop" musical version of Hollywood Squares (2012 & 2017)
- Nashville Squares A "Country" musical version of Hollywood Squares (2019)
Logos[edit | edit source]
Merrill Heatter/Bob Quigley Productions[edit | edit source]
The logo was a meshed "H" & "Q" with the names on the sides.
Merrill Heatter Productions[edit | edit source]
This logo was an interlocked "M" & "H".