The Classic Hollywood Squares Site

Merrill Heatter & Bob Quigley
In 1960 Merrill Heatter was a former writer for the CBS historical drama You Are There, and Bob Quigley was a former writer for comedian/pianist Victor Borge.  At a time when networks were leary of game shows (the quiz show scandals had just unfolded), the two set out to develop a new kind of game show.  Their result was a living board game with an elaborate set...Video Village.
the set of Video Village (1960-62)
The Magnificent Marble Machine
It was the first game CBS bought after the scandals, and the forerunner of the Heatter/Quigley style...the high concept.  Everything they did was a big "something"...a big dice table (High Rollers), a big blackjack table (Gambit), a big lie detector (Hot Seat), even a big pinball machine (NBC's shortlived but memorable Magnificent Marble Machine).  And of course there was the human tic-tac-toe board...The Hollywood Squares.  
A CBS promo for Gambit High Rollers
Of course Heatter and Quigley liked to rework ideas as well.  As mentioned elsewhere, Squares was a reworked version of The Celebrity Game, which itself was a modified version of the short-lived People Will Talk.

The two certainly had their own style...and their own styles.  Dennis James once recalled seeing the two standing on opposite sides of the stage, barking conflicting orders at him and at various other crew members.  They all learned to just accept it and move on. 

H/Q sold their company to Filmways in the 1960s, just after creating their biggest hit ever,
The Hollywood Squares. The two produced Las Vegas Gambit and Battlestars in the early 1980s before Quigley retired.  Bob Quigley died in February 1989.  Merrill Heatter kept creating game shows (Fantasy, All Star Blitz, Bargain Hunters) for a few more years.  He also married former Gambit hostess Elaine Stewart. 

The work and ideas of Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley still live on, though.  Not only has Squares been remade but other shows appear to owe a lot to HQ.  Later shows like
Wheel of Fortune and Press Your Luck were clearly influenced by the pair.  Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher was basically The Celebrity Game without the contestants.  Even an episode of the CBS summer 2000 smash Survivor showed the remaining island dwellers walking on multicolored paths, holding huge answer cubes, advancing only when they got a survival-related question right.  That particular challenge looked suspiciously like an episode of the seemingly forgotten Video Village.
The shows of Heatter/Quigley:
Video Village (1960-62)
Junior Video Village (1961-62)
Double Exposure (1961)
People Will Talk
The Celebrity Game
The Hollywood Squares
(1966-80, NBC; 1971-81, syndicated)
Wacky Races
(1968) (Yes, this was the cartoon! Co-produced with Hanna-Barbera)
Funny You Should Ask
The Storybook Squares
The Amateur's Guide to Love
High Rollers
(1974-76; 1978-80)
The Magnificent Marble Machine
The Hot Seat
To Say the Least
Bedtime Stories
Las Vegas Gambit
The shows of Merrill Heatter, solo:

Battlestars (1981-82; 1983)
All Star Blitz
(1985) (co-produced with Peter Marshall)
High Rollers
revival (1987-88)
Bargain Hunters
The Last Word
From the collection of Randy Amasia: various tickets to H-Q shows

Confidence Game (pilot)
High Rollers
Hot Seat (pilot)
Hot Seat (series)
Hollywood Squares #1
Hollywood Squares #2
The Magnificent Marble Machine
To Say the Least
Home | History | Square Facts | Square Rules | Peter Marshall | Paul Lynde | Charley Weaver | Rose Marie | George Gobel | Kenny Williams | Heatter & Quigley | Other Regulars | Guests | Politically Incorrect | Square Sights | Square Sights II | Square Sounds1970 article | 1979 article| Links | Update | Dixon's Wish List