Fred Silverman, the visionary television producer and executive behind such hit shows as All in the Family, Soap, M*A*S*H and Hill Street Blues, and the first and only executive to creatively run CBS, ABC and NBC, died today. He was 82. Silverman’s uncanny ability not just to identify hit shows in the making but also to program them into memorable primetime nights led Time magazine to crown him “The Man with the Golden Gut.”
The man who ran ABC, CBS and NBC during his career, is now at work on a long-awaited memoir that is in its early writing stages. And he keeps doing what he’s done the past 30 years in your second act, making TV that other people put on the air. Asked what’s in the hopper now, Silverman delivers a mini-pitch for three projects: a drama, a kids program and a reality show. But at the same time he concedes that at age 77, retirement, not more TV, might finally have a place on his schedule.
Programming legend Fred Silverman believes that TV stations’ future is in their producing their own entertaiment programming. There are opportunities in daytime, primetime (especially Saturday) and on subchannels, he says. “You would be surprised what the local television station can do when they need to do it.”