|Michael H. Dann is one of the most successful programming executives of all time. He served at CBS from 1958 to 1970, rising to senior vice president in charge of programming. After leaving CBS, he took a $100,000 pay cut to work on Sesame Street. Later, he set up a consulting firm which, over the next four decades, helped launch Nickelodeon and MTV and advised clients such as IBM and the BBC.
“When I was not on one of my frequent trips to Hollywood, I spent lunchtimes on the couch of one of New York’s foremost psychoanalysts. I was taking three pills a day for high blood pressure, stress and insomnia. My greatest triumphs had largely been celebrated alone. My wife hated television.”
So writes Michael H. Dann, one of network television’s most colorful executives, in his vivid account of life at the heart of the broadcasting industry between 1948 and 1970.
Through Dann’s eyes we follow the evolution of television, from the birth of the first full network schedule through the creation of shows such as Today and Tonight and the fall of prime-time giants such as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.