(Philadelphia Inquirer - Aug. 2, 1985)
In more than 30 years of covering the TV industry, I've known maybe a handful of TV executives who have left the medium better than they found it, and actively sought programs and talent that were exceptional as well as popular - and also, as a bonus, are nice human beings. Brandon Stoddard, who ran the movies and miniseries division during ABC's glory years, was one. Brandon Tartikoff, a natural TV programmer who helped nurture NBC's 1980s reputation for quality, was another. As executive show runners, Lindsay Law (then of PBS's American Playhouse), Bruce Paltrow (The White Shadow, St. Elsewhere), and Peter Lassally (associated with Johnny Carson, David Letterman and, currently, Craig Ferguson of The Late Late Show) are others. Grant Tinker spent time on both sides of the fence - running MTM Productions when it was the best production company in the business, then running NBC and making it similarly enviable. If tasteful creative people like Grant Tinker still ran the broadcast networks, we'd have a lot fewer shows like The Biggest Loser and Cavemen.
Bianculli - Philadelphia Enquirer 080285.pdf