Veteran Director Who Helmed the Most-Watched TV Episode of All Time (When It Aired in 1967) Dies at 95 THR
A veteran TV and film director who helmed what was the most-watched television series episode of all time when it aired in 1967 has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Don Medford, 95, who directed the finale of the ABC drama "The Fugitive," died Dec. 12.
Medford was best known for his work in television, including directing 26 episodes of the 1980s prime-time soap "Dynasty" and 32 episodes of the 1965-1974 show "The F.B.I.," the story notes. Other shows he directed include "Baretta," "The Detectives" and "The Twilight Zone," for which he directed an episode starring Jack Klugman, who died Dec. 24.
Originally from Detroit, Medford moved to New York in 1946 to work in live television, and later shifted to Hollywood when Alfred Hitchcock hired him to direct two installments of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," the story adds.
"One of Medford’s trademarks in the early days was shooting a scene during the day and then 'underdeveloping' the film in postproduction to make it appear as if it were shot in darkness (it was called 'day for night' shooting; the shadows were a dead giveaway for anyone paying attention). For that he earned the nickname 'Midnight Medford,’" the piece reports.
The finale of "The Fugitive," in which accused killer Richard Kimble clears his name and catches the murderous one-armed man, was viewed by more than 78 million people, or 45.9% of U.S. television households, the report notes. At that time, that made the episode the most-watched series episode ever, according to the piece.