Fred Silverman (born September 13, 1937 in New York City) is an
American television executive and producer. He worked as an executive at CBS,
ABC and NBC
and was at least partly responsible for bringing to television such
programs as All in the Family
(1971 - 1979), The Waltons (1972 -
1981), Roots (1977), and Charlie's
Angels (1976 - 1981).
Silverman graduated with a Master's degree from Ohio State University
and went to work for WGN-TV in Chicago, Illinois overseeing children's
programming. He soon moved to CBS and took over responsibility for daytime
programming and later, took charge of all of entertainment programming.
Silverman was on of the people responsible for the "Rural
Purge" of 1971, which eliminated many popular country-oriented shows,
such as Green
Acres, from the CBS schedule.
In 1975, Silverman became head of ABC Entertainment and greenlit more
popular shows of the day such as Starsky
and Hutch (1975 - 1979). He brought ABC's ratings from third place
to first place. Although he was very successful with ABC, Silverman left
to take on the presidency of NBC. His three year tenure at NBC was rocky
and most of the shows conceived during that time were were flops.
Silverman left the networks and formed Fred Silverman Company to
produce shows to sell to television. He had several hits including Matlock
(1986 - 1995) and In
the Heat of the Night (1988 - 1994).