Heatter-Quigley Productions

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Heatter-Quigley Productions was an American television production company that was launched in 1960 by two former television writers, Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley.

History[edit]

In 1965, they created the classic game show The Hollywood Squares and they sold their company to Filmways.

On many of Heatter-Quigley's most popular game shows, beginning with Video Village, a key element of the game itself was magnified, in some cases to larger than life. Other examples included:

Hollywood Squares, which easily fit into that category as it featured a gigantic tic-tac-toe board
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 over-sized lie detector (referred to by host Jim Peck as a "galvanic skin response machine").

In 1981 Quigley retired and ended his partnership with Merrill Heatter, just before Filmways was bought by Orion Pictures. He died in 1989. Heatter continued going solo and produced new game shows, such as Battlestars, All-Star Blitz, Bargain Hunters, and the 1980s version of High Rollers. On September 28, 1998, Heatter leased the worldwide rights to his solo-developed game shows to King World for a limited time.[1] That option has now expired.

MGM Television acquired the rights retained by Orion Television to the Heatter-Quigley shows, with the exception of Hollywood Squares format rights that Orion sold to King World Productions after Orion closed down its television division on November 25, 1991.[2] Today, the remaining series of the Heatter-Quigley library are owned by MGM Television, which was co-distributed by Sony for a short time.

In 2008, Heatter returned to game show production with the GSN game show Catch 21, based on Gambit. Heatter is co-executive producer with another veteran producer, Scott Sternberg.

Employees[edit]

Kenny Williams was the announcer on all of Heatter-Quigley's game shows except for two: Temptation (announced by Carl King) and The Magnificent Marble Machine (announced by Johnny Gilbert), with both shows hosted by Art James.

Many hosts would become famous for the shows they did for HQ, with Peter Marshall being most famous for Hollywood Squares, while Wink Martindale would have his first big hit with Gambit, and Alex Trebek would see his first hit in America (after a long run with Reach for the Top in his native Canada) with High Rollers.

Titles by Heatter-Quigley Productions[edit]

Titles by Merrill Heatter Productions[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ KING WORLD INTERNATIONAL ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE INTERNATIONAL FORMAT RIGHTS TO GAME SHOW CATALOGUE FROM MERRILL HEATTER PRODUCTIONS, INC., prnewswire.co.uk
  2. ^ "KING GETS THE SQUARE". Broadcasting: p. 26. 1991-11-25.