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Tinker in Television: From General Sarnoff to General Electric [Hardcover]

Grant Tinker , Bud Rukeyser

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Book Description

September 1994
The founder of MTM Enterprises, who later rescued NBC from low profits and program failure, presents an insider's account of the history of network television. 40,000 first printing. National ad/promo.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067175940X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671759407
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #985,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this casual biography written with freelancer Rukeyser, Tinker, who has been in network television from the beginning, relates his hits and misses. After graduating from Dartmouth in 1949, he went to work for NBC radio. Shifting jobs to an advertising agency, he became involved in developing TV programming. While working for NBC on the West Coast as head of programs, he married Mary Tyler Moore. Tinker's dissection of The Dick Van Dyke Show, on which Moore co-starred, is a textbook example of what it takes to make a successful show. During this time, Tinker introduced such NBC shows as I Spy, Dr. Kildare and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; he also rejected Bewitched. He next went to Universal, where he helped produce It Takes a Thief and Marcus Welby, M.D. Tinker also reveals that Ralph Bellamy was orginally slated to play Welby, not Robert Young. But it was at MTM Productions that Tinker made his name, first with The Mary Tyler Moore Show and then with spin-offs Lou Grant and Rhoda. Back at NBC as president, he secured the network's lineup with Cosby, Hill Street Blues, Cheers and St. Elsewhere. An interesting, often humorous read for industry and TV buffs. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Tinker's name has become synonymous with quality television, thanks to his cofounding (with his former wife, actress Mary Tyler Moore) of the MTM Enterprises production company and his five-year stint as chair of NBC-TV. MTM produced The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, and, most memorably, Hill Street Blues. Under Tinker's leadership, NBC shot from a dismal third to a dominant first in both the ratings and the Emmys. Throughout, and unlike some of his crasser brethren in the network executive suites, Tinker has always exuded class and an understated charm. Those qualities are evident in this memoir, which is filled with amusing anecdotes but offers generally civilized treatment of everyone (no dirt on Mary). Tinker's one target is General Electric, whose management approach at NBC alienated talent like David Letterman and sank morale to new lows. Lacking the scandalous tidbits that will bring patrons clamoring, this quality memoir is only for larger collections.
Thomas Wiener, formerly with "American Film"
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From MTM to NBC June 15 2000
By Stan - Published on Amazon.com
This book is the story of Grant Tinker, from his rise from a junior executive at NBC in 1949 to his rise to the presidency of the peacock network after the resignation of Fred Silverman in 1981. This book chronicles the television industry through the eyes of one of its own major players. It is a very good book for those who wish to become executives in the fast going world of television. He goes into great detail over his personal life with Mary Tyler Moore and his involvement into the MTM Enterprises programs, and his years as president of NBC and his ventures after he left NBC in 1986. This book is a must read for anybody who loves the history of television or would like to work in television.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars informative Nov. 1 2005
By Steven C. Wiggins - Published on Amazon.com
tinker gives a good overview of the sitcom era of the 70s, however, it is a bit whiny.

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