skip navigation
Don Ohlmeyer

Don Ohlmeyer

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Don Ohlmeyer - NOT AVAILABLE

Find what your looking for faster use the search field below to shop for titles.

SEARCH TCM.COM/SHOP


OR ... Click here to VOTE > for this person to be released on Home Video



Also Known As: Donald Winfred Ohlmeyer Jr. Died:
Born: February 3, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Profession: executive, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In 1993, Don Ohlmeyer was named president of NBC, West Coast and has been given much of the credit for the network's rise from third place in the Nielsens to not just first place--but ongoing dominance that could last for seasons to come with such hits as "ER" and "Seinfeld" (which didn't reach its success until Ohlmeyer's tenure.)Ohlmeyer, who reports directly to NBC CEO Robert Wright, may have seemed an unlikely choice to "save" NBC Entertainment, let alone to make it succeed, as the bulk of his career had been in sports programming. From 1972-76, he produced ABC's "Monday Night Football" then oversaw 15 of those frothy "Battle of the Network Stars" specials (ABC, 1976-1983). Furthermore, it was Ohlmeyer who had given NBC its primetime series "Games People Play" in 1980, which was supposed to have common folk playing novelty games for amusement, but was lambasted by the critics as "trash sports". Yet, Ohlmeyer, who had taken it on the chin (while making a fortune), turned out not just to be able to guide the NBC programming franchise, but to make the network hospitable to the best producers and writers in TV.A broad-shouldered, charismatic man, this graduate of Notre Dame first made his mark at ABC...

In 1993, Don Ohlmeyer was named president of NBC, West Coast and has been given much of the credit for the network's rise from third place in the Nielsens to not just first place--but ongoing dominance that could last for seasons to come with such hits as "ER" and "Seinfeld" (which didn't reach its success until Ohlmeyer's tenure.)

Ohlmeyer, who reports directly to NBC CEO Robert Wright, may have seemed an unlikely choice to "save" NBC Entertainment, let alone to make it succeed, as the bulk of his career had been in sports programming. From 1972-76, he produced ABC's "Monday Night Football" then oversaw 15 of those frothy "Battle of the Network Stars" specials (ABC, 1976-1983). Furthermore, it was Ohlmeyer who had given NBC its primetime series "Games People Play" in 1980, which was supposed to have common folk playing novelty games for amusement, but was lambasted by the critics as "trash sports". Yet, Ohlmeyer, who had taken it on the chin (while making a fortune), turned out not just to be able to guide the NBC programming franchise, but to make the network hospitable to the best producers and writers in TV.

A broad-shouldered, charismatic man, this graduate of Notre Dame first made his mark at ABC sports as a director of the 1972 Olympic Games. In addition to producing "Monday Night Football", Ohlmeyer also worked as a producer on the 1976 Olympic Games. The following year, he opened his own production shop, working with NBC sports as an executive producer. "Games People Play" and "People Are Funny," another reality-based show, were his early, unsuccessful forays into entertainment programming. In 1982, he formed Ohlmeyer Communications with funding from Nabisco Brands (later RJR Nabisco). He showed Hollywood he wasn't just about sports and games when he executive produced the experimental Emmy-winning TV-movie "Special Bulletin" (NBC, 1983), which followed the destruction of Charleston, SC, by nuclear terrorists as if it were being covered by a national news team. Having earned some respect, Ohlmeyer went on to executive produce other TV-movies, including "Crime of Innocence" (NBC, 1985), in which a teen girl was wrongly imprisoned and "Bluffing It" (ABC, 1987), with Dennis Weaver as an illiterate factory worker. Ohlmeyer also executive produced the "Crimes of the Century" specials for ABC in 1988, and was produced the Emmy Awards telecast in 1987.

But Ohlmeyer Communications still made the bulk of its revenues from sports productions, such as the Indianapolis 500 broadcasts, golf tournaments and Orange Bowl Parade Jamborees. Still, there was surprise when Robert Wright brought in Ohlmeyer as West Coast NBC President and forced Warren Littlefield, President of NBC Entertainment to report to Ohlmeyer. The teaming, however, worked.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
3.
4.
  74th Indianapolis "500," The (1990) Segment Director (Race Coverage)
5.
6.
8.
  73rd Indianapolis "500", The (1989) Segment Director (Race Coverage)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Jim McKay: My World in My Words (2003) Interviewee
2.
 Frank Gifford (2002) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1967:
Joined ABC sports as go-fer, rising to associate director by 1970
1972:
Was ABC Sports director at Olympic Games
1972:
Produced "Monday Night Football" (ABC)
:
Was executive producer of 15 "Battle of the Network Stars" specials
1977:
Joined NBC as executive producer, sports
1980:
Executive produced series "Games People Play" (NBC)
1982:
Formed Ohlmeyer Communications as a joint venture with Nabisco Brands (later RJR Nabisco)
1983:
Executive produced telefeature "Special Bulletin" (NBC)
1987:
Produced Emmy Awards telecast
1988:
Executive produced "Crimes of the Century" specials (ABC)
1993:
Named president, NBC West Coast
1998:
Announced in October that he would be stepping down from his position as president, NBC West Coast in 1999
1999:
Succeeded as president, NBC West Coast by Scott M Sassa in June; remained with NBC as senior consultant until January 2000
2000:
Returned to ABC as producer of "Monday Night Football"
2001:
In March, announced plans to step down from "Monday Night Football" and retire
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bradley University: Peoria , Illinois -
University of Notre Dame: South Bend , Indiana - 1967

Notes

Ohlmeyer entered the Betty Ford Treatment Center in December 1996.

In all, Ohlmeyer has won 14 Emmy Awards for sports programming.

"Clearly, television is a business, but it also exposes ideas to the public. ABC did 'Something About Amelia', which was about parental child abuse. Suddenly, you came to understand that somebody who abuses children doesn't have to be a grungy guy in a raincoat. It can be somebody who looks like Ted Danson." --Don Ohlmeyer in ESQUIRE, February 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Muffy Ohlmeyer. Married on February 11, 1978; separated.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Donald Winfred Ohlmeyer.
mother:
Eva Claire Ohlmeyer.
son:
Kemper Perry Ohlmeyer.
son:
Justin Drew Ohlmeyer.
son:
Christopher Brett Ohlmeyer.
son:
Todd Bivens Ohlmeyer.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute