Marcus/Glass Productions Makes a Deal

Last year, producer Nancy Glass and her Glass Entertainment Group struck up an alliance with entrepreneur, investor and TV host Marcus Lemonis to form Marcus/Glass Productions. The venture was set up to manage the IP and assets from Hatos-Hall Productions, including the iconic Let’s Make a Deal format.

“We are always looking to diversify,” Glass tells TV Formats. “We have a robust slate of unscripted projects and award-winning podcasts. We also have a broadcast development deal on a game show based on IP. That’s what started our internal discussion about acquiring IP with global possibilities. Let’s Make a Deal was on the market, and it was a very competitive bidding situation. I have been a huge fan of the format and could see a ton of potential. I wanted to make a play for it and also wanted a savvy business partner. So, I called the most successful entrepreneur I know, Marcus Lemonis, for advice. He immediately wanted to invest in the deal. It turned out to be a great decision. Partnering with Marcus has broadened our opportunities immensely.”

Alongside Let’s Make a Deal, the Hatos-Hall slate boasts Split Second. Both are “legacy success stories,” says Glass. “Let’s Make a Deal has been around since the 1960s. Under Fremantle’s direction, it has become more popular than ever in a very crowded marketplace. They have turned it into a variety show with big prizes. They have also done a fantastic job producing Let’s Make a Deal during Covid-19. They’ve kept up the energy and excitement of the game, even without a studio audience. We are now planning to relaunch another Hatos-Hall format, Split Second, which ran for three years on ABC and two years in syndication. Like Let’s Make a Deal, it’s a clever game with nostalgia value and a history of success. We believe it has enormous potential.”

It has been several years since Let’s Make a Deal has been exploited internationally, so Glass believes now is a good time for remake opportunities. “It’s number two in daytime on CBS, and the ratings have held steady,” she adds. “Continued success in the U.S. makes it a natural for international buyers. In fact, the fall relaunch in Germany was a triumph. As far as adaptation, the premise of the game is universal. Let’s Make a Deal is big, fun and offers escapist entertainment. Right now, that’s what viewers seem to want.”

Outside of TV remakes, the IP can be used in myriad ways, Glass points out: from slot machines to lottery tickets, merchandise to mall tours. “Online gaming is another exciting area,” she says. “There is also a unique opportunity for Let’s Make a Deal in particular. In the world of internet 3.0, NFTs are a rich area for exploitation. Here’s why the show appeals to the NFT community: There is a popular statistical dilemma known as ‘the Monty Hall problem.’ It has been written about in articles on game theory and decision theory. It was even taught as a course at MIT. It has appeared in internet discussions millions of times. The people involved in those debates are in their 20s and 30s; they are the NFT community.”

With regard to keeping these classic concepts fresh for a new generation, Glass is full of optimism. “We were lucky that Fremantle was producing Let’s Make a Deal when we acquired the IP,” she says. “They pay attention to the show. They are inventive and have invested in the program’s success. They made the show bigger and more entertaining. Wayne Brady as the host keeps it fresh every day. As far as Split Second, we have brought on former Sony Pictures Television drama chief and ex-Endemol Shine Studios President Sharon Hall as our consultant. She is also Monty Hall’s daughter and knows these formats better than anyone.”

Game shows have reemerged as a top genre, Glass adds, as they provide an escape and are fresh every day. “You can root for contestants without getting emotionally involved,” she adds. “In today’s shut-in environment, we all need something cheery and easy to watch. Competition series of every sort are still huge and will stay that way. They are the ultimate in reality shows, and they are bigger and louder than ever before.”