Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions
Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions was a television production company responsible for producing several American game shows in the 1970s and 1980s. The company is best known for its hit series Let's Make a Deal, which aired in several company-produced iterations off and on between 1963 and 1986.
The company disbanded sometime in 1987.
History: Let's Make a Deal
Prior to meeting while working in 1962 on the NBC game show Your First Impression, hosted by Bill Leyden, Stefan Hatos and Monty Hall had different career paths. Hatos was a writer and producer who had worked in both television and radio and had also been a producer for Bob Hope's early television specials. Hall's American media career began in 1955 when he became a contributor for the NBC Radio Monitor program. After five years of this he moved to Hollywood and became the host of the Merrill Heatter-produced Video Village. While hosting the series in 1962, he sold his first production (the aforementioned Your First Impression) to NBC and met Hatos, who was working on the show as a producer (Hall was executive producer).
The next year, the duo debuted the long running Let's Make a Deal on NBC, and the show was an instant success, running in daytime on NBC and later on ABC for 13 seasons. Two weekly network primetime versions also aired, one on NBC in 1967 and one on ABC from 1969-1971.
The show's popularity also spawned a syndicated version, which aired weekly from 1971–1977 and was one of the first network game shows to do so.
In addition to LMAD, Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions also produced the 1970s hit Split Second for ABC. The series, which ran from 1972–1975, was the only other show the company produced that lasted more than one season.
Other game shows produced by the team included Chain Letter, Three for the Money and It's Anybody's Guess for NBC and It Pays to Be Ignorant and Masquerade Party in syndication. The last of those series was the hosting debut for Richard Dawson.
After a hiatus of several years, Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions returned to production in the mid 1980s with a revival of Let's Make A Deal, which ran in daily syndication from 1984-1986. (Another daily syndicated version, which aired from 1980–1981, while hosted by Hall was not produced with Hatos.) After that series ended its run, Hatos and Hall revived Split Second in syndication in the fall of 1986 with Hall hosting. The company broke up following the show's cancellation.
Although Hatos retired from writing and producing television shows after Split Second ended in 1987, he continued to oversee the licensing agreements and was involved with the foreign versions of Let's Make a Deal until his death in 1999.
Hall has been retired for the most part since the 1987 cancellation of Split Second, though he frequently makes cameos related to Let's Make a Deal. He has appeared on both of the last two Let's Make a Deal series, taking over as host of the 1990-91 NBC version for its last few months and making a cameo appearance on the 2003 Billy Bush-hosted NBC primetime series. He reprised his role as host for a one-off mini-episode on Good Morning America in 2008. For the 2009 CBS daytime series, Hall serves as a consultant and Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall Productions is credited as a co-production company (much in the same way Mark Goodson's name was used on The Price Is Right long after his production company was dissolved). Hall has also hosted at least one game on the current version.