LA Times, EW, THR

He Created Some of the Most Well-Known TV Series EVER: ‘Magnum, P.I.,’ ‘Knight Rider’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’ – Glen A. Larson Dies at 77

Nov 15, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Glen A. Larson, who created some of the most recognized series that have been on TV, including “Magnum, P.I.,” “Knight Rider” and “Battlestar Galactica,” has died, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Says the Times, Larson, 77, “died Friday [Nov. 14, 2014] at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica….He died of complications from esophageal cancer, said his son, James Larson.

Writes Entertainment Weekly, “Larson’s career was a long and storied one—initially a singer in 50s pop quartet The Four Preps, he broke into the industry [writing for] hit shows like ‘The Fugitive’ and ‘It Takes a Thief.’ He would become a prolific creator in the ’70s and ’80s; …he brought to the tube such series as ‘Alias Smith and Jones,’ ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ (which was based on the novel ‘Cyborg’), ‘Switch,’ ‘Quincy, M.E.,’ ‘The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo,’ ‘B.J. and the Bear,’ ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’ (based on the late-’20s character), ‘Battlestar’ spinoff ‘Galactica 1980,’ ‘The Fall Guy,’ and ‘Manimal.’

“Larson is survived by his wife, Jeannie, his brother, Kenneth, and nine children.”

The Hollywood Reporter adds, “Yet for all his success, Larson had his share of critics.

“Writer Harlan Ellision, in a 1996 book about his ‘Star Trek’ teleplay for the famous episode ‘City on the Edge of Forever,’ infamously called him ‘Glen Larceny,’ accusing him of using movie concepts for his TV shows.

“It often has been noted that ‘Battlestar’ premiered soon after ‘Star Wars,’ that ‘Alias Smith & Jones’ arrived shortly after ‘Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid’ and that the setups for ‘McCloud’ and ‘B.J. and The Bear’ bore similarities to the Clint Eastwood films ‘Coogan’s Bluff’ and ‘Every Which Way But Loose,’ respectively.”

The THR piece continues, “ ‘Larson is undeniably a controversial figure in TV history because of his reputation for producing video facsimiles of popular films, but scholars, fans and critics should also consider that “similarity” is the name of the game in the fast world of TV productions,’ John Kenneth Muir wrote in his 2005 book, ‘An Analytical Guide to Television’s Battlestar Galactica.’ ‘Shows are frequently purchased, produced and promoted by networks not for their differences from popular productions, but because of their similarities.’ ”

To read more about Larson, we urge you to click on any of the links in this item, which will take you to the original articles in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter, respectively.

Glen-A.-LarsonGlen A. Larson



One Comment

  1. I was feeling nostalgic for him until you pointed out that he created “Galactica 80” and “Manimal”.

    Ugh. Harlan Ellison was right. “John Javna’s book The Best of Science Fiction TV included Manimal in its list of the “Worst Science Fiction Shows of All Time.””

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