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Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:256
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667859927
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667859910

That's A 40 Share!

An Insider Reveals the Origins of Many Classic TV Shows & How Television Has Evolved & Really Works

by Richard David Lindheim

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Overview
Have you ever wondered exactly how your favorite hit television shows came to be? Not just from the perspective of the actors and the creative people involved in the productions themselves, but the behind-the-scenes stories of the writers, producers and executives whose decisions shaped what you saw on broadcast television over the years. Richard Lindheim worked in television for nearly 40 years in a variety of senior roles. He was in the rooms – and on the sets and locations – where production decisions were made. In this book, he tells the stories of the unlikely choices and circumstances that shaped "classic" television shows from the 1960s through the early 2000s. He reveals the chaos of creative development, the idiosyncrasies of executive decision-making at the network and studio level, and the delicate balance of personalities and motives that resulted in the (oftentimes unlikely) production of some of your favorite shows. He highlights technologies and services such as internet-connected cars and the 911 emergency call system that owe their creation to television shows. He tells funny stories of what went wrong (and what didn't) on some well-known productions. And he also reflects deeply on his long career, which spanned the dominance of broadcast networks, the growth of cable, the launch of streaming services, attempts at international co-productions, and eventually work with the U.S. Army and other government agencies to create innovative story-based training programs.
Description

Have you ever wondered exactly how your favorite hit television shows came to be? Not just from the perspective of the actors and the creative people involved in the productions themselves, but the behind-the-scenes stories of the writers, producers and executives whose decisions shaped what you saw on broadcast television over the years. Richard Lindheim worked in television for nearly 40 years in a variety of senior roles. He was in the rooms – and on the sets and locations – where production decisions were made. In this book, he tells the stories of the unlikely choices and circumstances that shaped "classic" television shows from the 1960s through the early 2000s. He reveals the chaos of creative development, the idiosyncrasies of executive decision-making at the network and studio level, and the delicate balance of personalities and motives that resulted in the (oftentimes unlikely) production of some of your favorite shows. He highlights technologies and services such as internet-connected cars and the 911 emergency call system that owe their creation to television shows. He tells funny stories of what went wrong (and what didn't) on some well-known productions. And he also reflects deeply on his long career, which spanned the dominance of broadcast networks, the growth of cable, the launch of streaming services, attempts at international co-productions, and eventually work with the U.S. Army and other government agencies to create innovative story-based training programs.

About the author
Richard David Lindheim (1939-2021) was a television executive and producer for nearly four decades, working at NBC, Universal Television, and Paramount Television Group. Following his success in television, he became the founding Director of the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California (USC). Notably, Lindheim co-created the original Equalizer series starring Edward Woodward which ran from 1985 through 1989 and inspired several theatrical movies starring Denzel Washington as well as a second television series starring Queen Latifah which premiered on CBS in February 2021. Throughout his career, Lindheim found ways to combine his interest in cutting-edge technology with the creativity of storytelling. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Redlands and pursued postgraduate studies in telecommunications and engineering at USC. He began his career in entertainment in 1962 as an administrative assistant in the story department of CBS. He went on to work at Audience Studies, Inc. which tested audience reactions to television pilots and feature films. In 1969, he joined NBC as a junior executive in program research. He strove to bring a deep and nuanced understanding of the viewing audience into program development activities as Vice President, Dramatic Programming at NBC, working on the original Star Trek series as well as Little House on the Prairie, CHiPs, and Emergency. During this time, he also began the first integration of cable and broadcast television. In 1979, Lindheim transitioned to become a writer/producer for Universal Television. He worked in this capacity on BJ & the Bear, Battlestar Gallactica, and The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo. He subsequently became an executive with MCA Television Group/Universal Studios, working in current programming, series programming, creative affairs, and then as Executive Vice President, Program Strategy. During these years, he served as an executive on many highly successful television series including Murder She Wrote, Airwolf, Quantum Leap, Magnum, The Incredible Hulk, The A-Team, Columbo, Miami Vice, Law and Order, Knight Rider and the Equalizer, which he co-created. During the 1990s, Lindheim began exploring and developing new aspects and platforms for television as Executive Vice President of the Paramount Television Group. He launched Paramount Digital Entertainment while also serving as the supervising studio executive for Paramount's slate of TV shows, including Frasier, Viper, The Untouchables, Sentinel and several Star Trek incarnations (Deep Space 9, Voyager, and Enterprise). Starting at Universal and continuing into his time at Paramount, Lindheim also explored ways to expand television co-productions in international markets. In 2000, Lindheim helped launch the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), an organization affiliated with USC that works closely with the entertainment, computer game and computer technology industries to develop virtual reality training projects for the U.S. Army. Lindheim served as Executive Director of the organization until 2006, when he co-founded RL Leaders. He retired (for the third time) in 2012 but continued to write, consult, develop ideas for podcasts, and travel the world. His inclusion as an executive producer for the updated Equalizer television series made him extremely happy. Lindheim was a member of the Writers Guild of America and, in addition to television scripts, also wrote articles for Variety, Electronic Media, Broadcasting, and other entertainment industry publications as well as for scientific publications such as the IEEE Journal. He co-authored two textbooks on television, PrimeTime: Network Television Programming and Inside Television Producing.
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