Television producer Fred Silverman has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The former producer and executive, known for working at each of the American Big Three networks, was responsible for shows like Scooby Doo, The Waltons, All in the Family, Roots, Hill Street Blues and Charlie's Angels making it to TV.
"Silverman died Thursday at his home in Pacific Palisades," THR reported, citing an announcement from a publicist.
Silverman's talent for picking shows earned him the nickname "The Man With The Golden Gut" from TIME in 1977.
In a story about his 1978 move from ABC to NBC, having already moved on from the top spot at CBS, The New York Times described Silverman as "TV's Man for All Networks." The article reveals that some critics were scornful of Silverman for "pandering to low tastes," claiming his programming was not high-brow enough.
"They credit him, however, with being a superb tinkerer — the man who made Henry Winkler the hero of adolescent America by shifting the emphasis of Happy Days to the Fonz: the man who saw Bea Arthur once on All in the Family and suggested that Maude merited a show of her own."
Silverman was born in 1937, the son of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. He attended Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree before enrolling at Ohio State University where he earned a master's degree, The Times reported. Silverman's master's thesis, analyzing 10 years of ABC's programming, was reportedly impressive enough to land him a job at CBS at the age of 25, soon after he started working for WGN-TV in Chicago.
Over the next few years, he climbed CBS's corporate ladder, and eventually became the Vice President of Programs.
In addition to the aforementioned series, Silverman had a hand in bringing about shows like M.A.S.H., The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, Bionic Woman, Starsky and Hutch, Rich Man, Poor Man, Kojak, and Good Times.
Having conquered network television, Silverman left NBC in 1981 and formed The Fred Silverman Company, with an aim of developing TV shows to sell to networks.
Silverman was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in 1995. Four years later, in 1999, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.
Silverman married his former secretary, Catherine Ann Silverman, nee Kihn. The couple had two children, daughter Melissa Anne and son William Lawrence.