Grant Tinker, the TV executive that took NBC to #1 in the ’80’s, died at his home in Los Angeles, CA, on Monday, November 28, 2016, at age 90. The cause of death was not disclosed.
As chairman and chief executive of NBC from 1981 to 1986, Tinker crammed prime time with many of television’s most imaginative, successful and long-running series, including “The Cosby Show,” “Cheers,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Family Ties,” “St. Elsewhere” and “Miami Vice.”
Besides runaway ratings and an avalanche of awards, NBC secured annual profits that soared to $500 million, from $48 million, during Mr. Tinker’s reign.
Prior to that, he formed MTM Enterprises with his then wife Mary Tyler Moore in 1970. MTM produced many popular American sitcoms and drama television series like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “Rhoda”, “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Lou Grant”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “Cheers”, “Miami Vice, “Family Ties”, “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere”.
Tinker married the former Ruth Byerly in 1950 and divorced in 1962. They had four children. He and Mary Tyler Moore married in 1963 and divorced in 1981. They had no children.
Grant Tinker’s survivors include his wife, Brooke Knapp; his sons, Mark, John and Michael; his daughter, Jodie DiLella; his sister, Joan Swift; 10 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
To read more about Grant Tinker, here is his Wikipedia page.
Here is video of Grant Tinker on “Late Night” with a very young David Letterman from 1982 (Dave looks a little nervous interviewing his boss!)…
Photo: YouTube/Don Giller