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In Memoriam: Celebrity Deaths

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Fred Silverman was responsible for moving All in the Family to Saturday night as at 8 on CBS in its second season, which kept it at number one for five years, and anchored the entire night's lineup: the other shows on that night were M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. He then brought ABC to number one for the first time in history, greenlighting shows like Charlie's Angels and Three's Company during his presidency there.

...And then he nearly brought NBC to the point of collapse in the late 70's as the Peacock Network's president, especially when the United States' boycott of the summer Olympics in 1980 meant a HUGE financial loss for the network, as THEY were the ones set to air the Games. He did bring Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life there, though.

In short, he was, and is, a TOWERING figure in television broadcasting. RIP. 

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1 hour ago, MissAlmond said:

One of the big names in the TV industry, programmer and executive producer Fred Silverman has died,

Wow.  I knew a bit about him, but reading that Hollywood Reporter obituary was eye-opening for the tremendous impact he had on television.  He's the reason CBS shifted from the Beverly Hillbillies/Petticoat Junction style of programming to things like M*A*S*H and Norman Lear comedies:
 

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In 1970, Silverman was put in charge of everything on the air at CBS. "We had an old schedule that was directed at old people in rural areas," he said. "Our company-owned stations in cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were dying with this schedule. Something had to be done."

ABC twice passed on pilots for All in the Family, but when Silverman saw it, "I couldn't believe what I was seeing," he recalled. "Compared to the crap that we were cancelling, this was setting new boundaries. To [CBS president] Bob Wood's credit, he said, 'We've got to put this on the air.'"

For All in the Family's second season, CBS chairman William S. Paley wanted the comedy buried on Mondays at 10:30 p.m. Silverman, for his first fall schedule, also was looking at the aging My Three Sons and Funny Face, a new show starring Sandy Duncan, anchoring Saturdays and The Mary Tyler Moore Show airing Tuesdays between The Beverly Hillbillies and Hee Haw.

"This is going to be my first and last season, I can see it now," Silverman remembered fretting.

But he convinced Wood to shift All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Saturdays, then had M*A*S*H moved from Saturdays to Tuesdays as the centerpiece of another strong night.

Soon, CBS was thriving, helped by Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times and One Day at a Time — all from Norman Lear, the producer of All in the Family; The Bob Newhart Show and Rhoda, both from MTM, the company behind The Mary Tyler Moore Show; and new shows like Kojak and The Waltons, which was spawned from a 1971 telefilm called The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.

 

That alone would make him a major figure on TV history, but that's just one example.  And he had the mind for it early on:
 

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Silverman went to Forest Hills High School and Syracuse University, then earned his master's degree at Ohio State. He wanted to be a director, but an adviser suggested he consider another livelihood. "He said you really ought to consider programming," he recalled in the TV Archive interview. "It requires a real knowledge of the business, and it is kind of creative, because you're picking the shows."

Silverman wrote a 600-page master's thesis that was an analysis of ABC programming practices from 1953, when the network had few hits, until 1959, when programs like The Untouchables and 77 Sunset Strip made it popular. "I tried to figure out what were the factors of this meteoric rise," he said.

 

 

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4 hours ago, MissAlmond said:

 

3 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Now Silverman, I recognize! He, who brought back Perry Mason to my small screen and other shows.

I think he may have been involved with the Ironside movies too.

 

3 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I remember when Johm Belushi played him on SNL. RIP

 

3 hours ago, UYI said:

Fred Silverman was responsible for moving All in the Family to Saturday night as at 8 on CBS in its second season, which kept it at number one for five years, and anchored the entire night's lineup: the other shows on that night were M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. He then brought ABC to number one for the first time in history, greenlighting shows like Charlie's Angels and Three's Company during his presidency there.

...And then he nearly brought NBC to the point of collapse in the late 70's as the Peacock Network's president, especially when the United States' boycott of the summer Olympics in 1980 meant a HUGE financial loss for the network, as THEY were the ones set to air the Games. He did bring Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life there, though.

In short, he was, and is, a TOWERING figure in television broadcasting. RIP. 

 

3 hours ago, Bastet said:

Wow.  I knew a bit about him, but reading that Hollywood Reporter obituary was eye-opening for the tremendous impact he had on television.  He's the reason CBS shifted from the Beverly Hillbillies/Petticoat Junction style of programming to things like M*A*S*H and Norman Lear comedies:
 

That alone would make him a major figure on TV history, but that's just one example.  And he had the mind for it early on:
 

 

He died of cancer according to his spokeswoman.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/arts/television/fred-silverman-dead.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fred-silverman-tv-titan-who-oversaw-prime-time-for-three-networks-dies-at-82-11580429702

Edited by MikaelaArsenault
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8 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

Now Silverman, I recognize! He, who brought back Perry Mason to my small screen and other shows.

I think he may have been involved with the Ironside movies too.

Yup, and Matlock.

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On 1/30/2020 at 4:58 PM, GHScorpiosRule said:

Now Silverman, I recognize! He, who brought back Perry Mason to my small screen and other shows.

I think he may have been involved with the Ironside movies too.

There was only 1 Ironside TV movie, The Return of Ironside, with all the original cast members including Barbara Anderson & Elizabeth Baur, whose character Officer Fran Belding replaced Barbara Anderson’s character, Officer Eve Whitfield at the end of either the show’s 4th or 5th season. I’m reasonably sure it was Raymond Burr’s last completed work before he died.

In 2013, NBC aired a very short-lived Ironside reboot (9 episodes filmed, 5 aired), starring Blair Underwood as a younger, African-American version of the character. However the only elements they kept from the original were the Robert T. Ironside character, the fact he had been left paralyzed & a wheelchair user due to a shooting, & that despite his injury he was still a working police officer (though I think the reboot actually had him still working as a regular police officer/detective instead of in the consultant to the police department role of the original Ironside played by Raymond Burr). This version had different characters as Ironside’s assistants & he was a member of the NYPD, where Raymond Burr’s Ironside & his assistants worked with the San Francisco PD.

Could you be thinking of the reboot when you say there were multiple Ironside TV movies? I’m positive there was only 1 TV movie (& I have it on DVD).

A bit of trivia: Barbara Anderson is the last surviving lead or supporting cast member from the show.

In my March of Dimes days, I was fortunate enough to do a number of telethon fundraisers around the country with Don Galloway, who played Detective Sergeant Ed Brown in the Raymond Burr Ironside, & he remained a good friend of mine & my family’s for a number of years afterward; as well as 1 with Elizabeth Baur, who played Officer Fran Belding in the show (Don Galloway was also in that telethon’s cast; as I remember, it was held in Knoxville, TN).

 

Edited by BW Manilowe · Reason: To finally fix a screwed up tag I missed.
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1 hour ago, BW Manilowe said:

There was only 1 Ironside TV movie, The Return of Ironside, with all the original cast members

I know, but they were planning to make more, but Raymond Burr passed away. And I know the history and about Underwoood's short-lived show. Thank you.

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19 minutes ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

I know, but they were planning to make more, but Raymond Burr passed away. And I know the history and about Underwoood's short-lived show. Thank you.

I'm reading about the Ironside TV reunion movie right now as a matter of fact.

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Do we really need to post multiple articles about the same person?

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1 hour ago, Hiyo said:

Do we really need to post multiple articles about the same person?

Why not? Different articles at times can bring different perspectives and/or information on a person.  

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I’m sorry to hear about Mary Higgins Clark, although at her age her death is hardly surprising. I had the opportunity many years ago to meet and chat with her privately for an hour or so. She was both gracious and down to earth, sharing how she got into writing full-time after her husband died fairly young and she was left with five kids to raise. 

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26 minutes ago, MissAlmond said:

Why not? Different articles at times can bring different perspectives and/or information on a person.  

And I don’t see anything wrong with that at all.

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24 minutes ago, BookWoman56 said:

I’m sorry to hear about Mary Higgins Clark, although at her age her death is hardly surprising. I had the opportunity many years ago to meet and chat with her privately for an hour or so. She was both gracious and down to earth, sharing how she got into writing full-time after her husband died fairly young and she was left with five kids to raise. 

I didn’t even know that she was that old.

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My sainted mother-in-law who always went to mass and never swore or drank loved "safe" murder mysteries.  Like her beloved Jessica on "Murder She Wrote".

She read everything MHC wrote.

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:30 AM, roamyn said:

I got to meet her years ago ata luncheon/speech, and she took time to talk with us personally.  When she found out I loved to write, but was afraid to put anything out there, she gave me advice & encouragement.  While I never wrote professionally, I ha e discovered fan fiction, and wrote quite prolifically on several fandoms, eventually winning a couple awards.

RIP Ms. Clark and thank you for the years of enjoyment reading.

What a lovely story, Roamyn!  I read some of her books when I was much younger, and recall liking them but not feeling the need to read absolutely everything she ever wrote (tastes change, c'est la vie). It's heartening to learn that she was a good person and willing to give advice and support to other writers. Too much of what I read on this site (pretty much my only exposure to popular culture these days) reveals ugly behavior, exposes talented and famous people as entitled assholes. It's sometimes hard to remember that not everyone is a jerk, so thanks for sharing your positive experience! (slightly off topic: In which fandoms do you write? Do you post on AO3? I'm always looking for good authors/stories. I don't see a private message feature, and clearly this is not the place to reply. If there's an appropriate thread, please reply there -- and point me to it.)

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43 minutes ago, praeceptrix said:

I don't see a private message feature, and clearly this is not the place to reply. If there's an appropriate thread, please reply there -- and point me to it.)

Probably the mods can explain better, but there's an envelope at the top of each page, near your user name.  That's the PM function.

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37 minutes ago, MissAlmond said:

An actor, director, and producer.  R.I.P. Mr. Reynolds.

He retired in 1999. I didn't even know he was that old when he died.

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4 hours ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

from the article above:  

Quote

The director, producer and writer — a former child actor — also had a hand in developing the groundbreaking 'Room 222' en route to winning six Emmy Awards.

Aw, I loved Room 222.  It debuted while I was in Catholic grade school and gave me a little inkling of what to expect when I'd eventually go on to a public high school.  The show's star, Lloyd Haines, died much too young of cancer.  At least Mr. Reynolds lived to a very ripe old age.  Thanks for the memories!

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Damn he's been a constant on death pools for fifteen years now.  RIP Kirk, one hell of a life.

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2 minutes ago, bmasters9 said:

I wonder if Michael has heard of his father's death yet.

According to multiple sources Michael Douglas read the statement announcing the news. Was there a reason he wouldn't have known (or have been there)?

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1 minute ago, theredhead77 said:

According to multiple sources Michael Douglas read the statement announcing the news. Was there a reason he wouldn't have known (or have been there)?

My guess is that Kirk Douglas died more than an hour ago, or whenever this was reported, and his entire family was there/was informed before it became public.

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OtterMommy

This thread is not meant to be a collection of obituaries, but rather a place for us to pay respect (or not) to the recently departed celebrities*.  If you're leaving a link to an obituary, please also provide some sort of personal context about the deceased.  (* For this thread, a celebrity is an entertainment or widely recognized figure.)

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