Tuesday, May 31, 2016

R.I.P.: Former CBS-TV Programmer Michael Dann

Michael Dann
Michael Dann, one of the most powerful and effective programmers in network television in the 1950s and 1960s, who brought “The Defenders,” “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “60 Minutes” to the screen, as well as less prestigious but enormously popular shows like “Hee Haw” and “The Beverly Hillbillies,” died on Friday at his home in Boca Raton, Fla.

He was 94, according to The NYTimes.

Dann began his television career at NBC, where he worked alongside Pat Weaver as he transformed the network and created such innovative programs as “Today” and “Tonight.”

At CBS, where he rose to become head of programming in 1963, he proved an astute judge of audience appeal, a master of scheduling and a shrewd marketer.

He thrived by serving up a mix of high-toned specials and quality offerings like “CBS Playhouse,” well-scripted comedies like “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Carol Burnett Show,” and a slew of crowd-pleasers like “Petticoat Junction” and “Green Acres” that earned CBS, the Tiffany Network, a second nickname, the Hillbilly Network.

Mr. Dann hated the rural shows, but he loved the ratings.

“By and large I operated under a principle I was trained in, and that was that there was no such thing as a good program executive with low-rated shows or a bad program executive with high-rated shows, and I never changed my position as long as I was working in the commercial networks,” he told Electronic Media in 2002.

No comments:

Post a Comment