Legendary television executive and producer Fred Silverman, who ran CBS, ABC and NBC and was behind groundbreaking shows including “All in the Family,” “Soap” and “Hill Street Blues,” has died. Deadline reports that Silverman died Thursday at his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He was 82.
“Silverman’s knack for identifying hit shows in the making and programming them into memorable prime-time nights led Time magazine to crown him ‘The Man with the Golden Gut’ in 1977,” Deadline reports.
Silverman is quoted saying in a 2001 interview with the Television Academy: “There are a lot of things that I can point to that I think are proud achievements. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to kind of stretch the medium a little bit, to do some things that had never been done before.”
After working at WGN-TV in Chicago and WPIX in New York City, Silverman was named head of CBS daytime programming at 25.
“At CBS, Silverman was responsible for a new wave of highly popular shows, including ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ ‘M*A*S*H,’ ‘The Waltons,’ ‘Good Times,’ ‘The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour,’ ‘Kojak,’ ‘Cannon,’ ‘The Jeffersons,’ and the animated series ‘Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!,” Deadline reports. “Additionally, he reintroduced game shows to the network’s daytime slate, including ‘The Price Is Right,’ which remains on air today.”
He became president of ABC Entertainment in 1975, before moving on to NBC in 1978 as president and CEO.
“After decades as a television executive, Silverman turned his attention to production,” Deadline notes. “He moved to Los Angeles to begin his own production company, quickly producing multiple hits, including the revival of ‘Perry Mason’ as a TV movie series, ‘Matlock,’ ‘Diagnosis: Murder,’ ‘Jake and the Fatman,’ and ‘In the Heat of the Night,’ which won the 1990 NAACP Image Award for Best Dramatic Series.”
Here’s a clip of Silverman discussing “All in the Family” …