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Fred Silverman
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TV Executive
    In 1963, during a snowstorm in Chicago, he abandoned his car, along with his job at WGN-TV, and flew to New York to try his luck with CBS.
    He masterminded the 'rural purge' of 1971 - the name given to 'the year CBS killed everything with a tree in it.'
    Casualties included fan favorites 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' 'Green Acres,' 'Mayberry R.F.D.' and 'Hee Haw.'
    A pinwheel competition couldn't produce as many 'spin-offs' as he created.
    Critics point out that his tenure at ABC was catering to the 'lowest common denominator,' authorizing shows with sex and violence galore over quality programming.
    After great success at other networks, he approved so many bad shows for NBC that Johnny Carson quipped on his show that NBC stood for 'Nine Bombs Cancelled.'
    He smokes.
    He graduated with a Master's degree from Ohio State University.
    After doing his thesis on 10 years worth of analyzed programming practices at ABC, he landed a job at the station's mail room.
    He became a major exec/whiz kid for CBS at age 25.
    After astounding success at CBS, he was hired by ABC to help sagging ratings.
    He is credited with saving 'Happy Days' from cancellation and boosting ABC ratings position from 3rd to 1st place.
    He had such an uncanny knack for knowing what viewers wanted to watch, during his CBS and ABC tenures that he was nicknamed 'the man with the golden gut.'
    Keeping his humility in check, he allowed John Belushi to impersonate him on 'SNL' while president/CEO of NBC.
    He green lighted the highly rated TV mini-series 'Roots (1977)' and Shogun '(1980).'
    His independent company has given TV viewers 'Matlock,' 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Diagnosis Murder.'
    Fred 'Freddie' Jones of 'Scooby Doo, Where Are You?' fame is named after him.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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