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Fred Silverman

Fred Silverman

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 13, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: producer, executive

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A television legend responsible for some of the most iconic shows of the 1970s, network executive Fred Silverman has remained the only individual who headed the programming divisions of the three major networks - CBS, ABC, NBC - while churning out hit after hit. After starting his career with local New York stations, Silverman thrived at CBS as a programming executive who made his name by putting such iconic series as "All in the Family" (CBS, 1971-79), "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77), and "M*A*S*H" (1972-1983) onto the air. Despite his quick and steady success, he was unhappy with CBS and soon moved on to run ABC, where he revitalized the flagging network with other classic shows like "Charlie's Angels" (ABC, 1976-1981), "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986) and "Fantasy Island" (ABC, 1978-1984). With a solid decade of near unprecedented success, Silverman took a step up in title and responsibility with his new network, NBC, only to fall flat after boasting he could turn around their misfortunes in less than a year. Though he had a couple of hits with "Hill Street Blues" (NBC, 1981-87) and "Diff'rent Strokes" (NBC/ABC, 1978-1986), Silverman was largely responsible for a number of flops as well...

A television legend responsible for some of the most iconic shows of the 1970s, network executive Fred Silverman has remained the only individual who headed the programming divisions of the three major networks - CBS, ABC, NBC - while churning out hit after hit. After starting his career with local New York stations, Silverman thrived at CBS as a programming executive who made his name by putting such iconic series as "All in the Family" (CBS, 1971-79), "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77), and "M*A*S*H" (1972-1983) onto the air. Despite his quick and steady success, he was unhappy with CBS and soon moved on to run ABC, where he revitalized the flagging network with other classic shows like "Charlie's Angels" (ABC, 1976-1981), "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986) and "Fantasy Island" (ABC, 1978-1984). With a solid decade of near unprecedented success, Silverman took a step up in title and responsibility with his new network, NBC, only to fall flat after boasting he could turn around their misfortunes in less than a year. Though he had a couple of hits with "Hill Street Blues" (NBC, 1981-87) and "Diff'rent Strokes" (NBC/ABC, 1978-1986), Silverman was largely responsible for a number of flops as well as the short, but disastrous reign of producer Jean Doumanian on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). But he rebounded as an independent producer with "Matlock" (NBC/ABC, 1986-1995), "Jake and the Fatman" (CBS, 1987-1992) and "Diagnosis: Murder" (CBS, 1993-2001), cementing his legacy as one of the small screen's greatest behind-the-scenes talents.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Happy Days (2001) Interviewee
2.
 Laverne & Shirley (2001) Interviewee
3.
 Love Boat, The (2001) Interviewee
4.
 Inside TV Land: The Pitch (2001) Interviewee
5.
 Dick Van Dyke: Put on a Happy Face (2000) Interviewee
6.
 Television Academy Hall of Fame, The (1999) Award Recipient
7.
 NYTV: By the People Who Made It (1998) Interviewee
8.
 CBS: The First 50 Years (1998) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Worked at WGN-TV in Chicago, Illinois, and at WPIX in New York, New York
1963:
Headed daytime programming at CBS
1970:
Named vice president programs at CBS
1975:
Appointed president, ABC Entertainment
1978:
Joined NBC as president and CEO
1981:
Formed independent production company
:
Executive produced "We've Got It Made" (NBC; later in syndication)
1985:
Revived "Perry Mason" as TV-movies for NBC
1986:
Partnered with Dean Hargrove to launch first hit series, "Matlock" (NBC)
1988:
Launched "In the Heat of the Night" as weekly series (NBC, later CBS)
1993:
Launched "Diagnosis Murder" as weekly series (CBS)
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Education

Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York -
Ohio State University: Columbus , Ohio -
Ohio State University: Columbus , Ohio -

Notes

Inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame in 1998.

Silverman had a heart attack in 1996. He told the LOS ANGELES TIMES, July 28, 1996: "[It] woke me up a little bit. This is just a job; it's not a religious calling."

"The top management [at CBS] was never satisfied. If I went to [CBS chair William] Paley and said 'We have nine of the top 10 shows in the daytime,' he would say, 'God, that 10th show. Isn't there anything you can do about that 10th show?' Good was not good enough. Great was not good enough." --Silverman to LOS ANGELES TIMES, July 28, 1996

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Cathy Kihn. Children were raised in her Roman Catholic faith.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Melissa Silverman. Working in motion picture design.
son:
William Silverman. Was student as Vassar from 1995.

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