In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.
The original "The Hollywood Squares" television game show pilot, (taped in standard black and white tape format in 1965), was created and produced by Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley Productions, taped at the Hollywood CBS Fairfax @ Beverly Blvd. television tape studio. The CBS video color cameras were mothballed, in the scene dock drop storage hallway area adjacent the drapery department. CBS engineering was only using black and white cameras for shows in production. The set for "The Hollywood Squares" CBS TV game show pilot was designed by CBS staff production designer Dick Stiles, (who later was the Merv Griffin "Wheel of Fortune" production designer from 1975-2007). Stiles designed the celebrity "tic-tac-toe" game set, which was stacked three squares by three squares celebrity guest panel framed box niches. The host and contestant desk configuration was set at a right angle to the stacked celebrity square-game-box desk frames. The frames were built of 2" x 2" square iron, with electronic desk panels controlled to light when a celebrity square was selected, during the game format, by the show's game player. Each level's floor was an open metal square grate for air circulation. After CBS TV declined buying the game show for their daily network schedule, the taped television "black & white" pilot game show was shown to NBC TV division Daytime Programing. NBC Network purchased the game show, moving the set from the Hollywood CBS Studio facility, to their Burbank (Alamedia Boulevard) West Coast TV Color Video Tape Studios, stage 2. No second TV game show pilot was taped. NBC network instantly scheduled the game show on their NBC's daytime "color" schedule. NBC/Heatter-Quigley Productions replaced the pilot's show host Bert Parks with a new game show host Peter Marshall. NBC Burbank staff art director E. Jay Krause was assigned the show by the art department supervisor Milt Altman. Ted Soares and Stan Kramer were the Stage Technician local #33 prop-masters. "The Hollywood Squares" was an instant daytime ratings success. Each "square" had small rectangular flood lights stationed on each vertical side, horizontal top frame and desk top. The stacked celebrity panel squares overheated because of the intense lighting for each celebrity guest seated at the electronic desk panels. Additional air conditioning ducting units, installed behind the set, kept the show's celebrity guests cool from the generated heat from the set's celebrity-box lighting units. Miniature fans, nestled in each square's top corner, was aimed at each "celebrity square" guest. During commercial breaks, celebrities remained seated behind their desks because of the tight access down side positioned spiral staircases. The middle panel celebrity was virtually 'stuck' at the middle square desk on all three horizontal square levels. Five game shows taped consecutively on each day of taping. Three consecutive days were scheduled for taping three weeks of shows, with celebrity guests interchanging each day. Additional weekly show tapings were scheduled during the month dependent upon studio scheduling. The semi-permanent panel guests became established in their own square, with guest celebrity panelists, based upon availability, filling into the alternating guest square game square positions. See more »