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Grant Tinker: An Appreciation
November 30, 2016  | By Tom Brinkmoeller  | 1 comment
 

I didn’t house the work I have done for TV Worth Watching under the “Raised on MTM” roof without reason. So much of what I consider valuable about television has its roots in Grant Tinker: Comedies that reinvented the entertainment form and dramas that took watching way above any level reached before his wisdom helped them form and grow.

My in-person contacts with Grant Tinker began after he left MTM and took over NBC. With then-NBC owner RCA’s Thornton Bradshaw fantastically “non-corporate" imprimatur and with people such as Brandon Tartikoff feeding off of Mr. Tinker’s appetite for excellence, NBC became great. When Grant Tinker would appear before a group of critics, you knew you’d hear honest answers to your questions. He could be as funny as one of his stellar comedies or as truly and sincerely serious as one of the dramas that found air under his leadership. But what he said wasn’t spin-oriented. We took him seriously and he did the same for us.

I still seek out the programs that he shepherded onto the air and still enjoy them as much as I did when they were new. He really loved television, and we’ve been lucky enough to benefit from that love. And those who appreciate great television will continue to benefit for a very long time.
 
 
 
 
 
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Mark Isenberg
I am glad Mr. Tartikoff got a mention because the shows MTM brought often wound up on CBS including Lou Grant.With Ms.Moore in seclusion due to poor health,a few of us remain grateful that both Tinker and Tartikoff wanted better quality comedies,dramas on NBC after the awful years of Manimal,Super Train and I hate to write bad things about Pierce Brosnan but the awful Remington Steele. Tinker made a difference for a while but his influence is lost on most,today.
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is now available in paperback for under $15. Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer are high points... Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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