Dick Berg, who produced such early TV series as “Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater” and the detective series “Checkmate,” passed away in Los Angeles on Tuesday, says The Hollywood Reporter. He was 87.
Berg–father of ICM chairman and CEO Jeff Berg, author A. Scott Berg, music producer Tony Berg and producer and manager Rick Berg—also wrote original dramas for live programs including “Kraft Theater,” and “Playhouse 90.” He also created the series “Staccato,” which starred John Cassavetes.
"Staccato" only lasted one season–1959– and "Checkmate" ran from 1960-1962. Both shows were about detectives and were influential despite their relatively short runs.
The Cassavetes character, Johnny Staccato, worked in a jazz club, and jazz was incorporated into the show. Berg seemed to have a knack for picking excellent musical talent. The music for the show was composed by the then relatively unknown Elmer Bernstein, who later became a major composer in Hollywood. Likewise, a young John Williams composed the music for "Checkmate."
–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross