Dean Valentine

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Dean Valentine talks about his early years, moving from Romania, where he was born to New York City, where he grew up. He speaks about his work as a freelance journalist and his move into television, initially at NBC, and then at Disney/Touchstone in development. He comments on the many television shows he oversaw including Home Improvement and Ellen. He then discusses his move to UPN, where he served as President and CEO until 2001. Valentine also describes the creation of the Archive of American Television, which was based on his own idea. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview on February 3, 2009 in Santa Monica, CA.

"The world never has enough people who are passionate about ideas and passionate about supporting people with ideas. I think the demand is so great and the need is so great that many institutional equities are looking for talented people all the time. You need to prove to somebody that you're talented. The only way to do that is not to talk about it, not to make pitches, not to do all that crap that people are taught to do. Make things and put it up. Make stuff. That's the ultimate resume."

Highlights
Dean Valentine on his role in the establishment of the Archive of American Television, and on his friend writer Danny Arnold
12:57
Dean Valentine on the filming of the Ellen episode "The Puppy Episode," and on the cultural impact of the character coming out
06:13
Dean Valentine on working for "Life" and various other magazines early in his career
02:18
Dean Valentine on career achievements and regrets
03:28
Dean Valentine on his frustrations as president of UPN, and on the Paramount/Viacom deal
02:33
Dean Valentine on casting the role of "Jill Taylor" on Home Improvement first with Frances Fisher, then Patricia Richardson
03:00
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his earliest impressions of television
On his early interest in writing; on working for "Life" and various other magazines early in his career; on being hired at NBC
On his personal and professional assessment of Brandon Tartikoff at NBC; on the state of NBC when he worked there in the 1980s; on his position and his responsibilities at NBC
On developing 227 and on Norman Lear's Embassy shows; on leaving NBC and on going to work in development for Disney, later Touchstone Television
On working with various writers while in development at Touchstone Television, including Matt Williams; on Touchstone Television's relationship with Witt/Thomas Productions, producers of The Golden Girls and Blossom

Chapter 2

On reinventing the television division of Disney with Touchstone Television, and on his rise within the company; on working for Disney head Michael Eisner during his time at Touchstone Television, and on the culture at Disney; on navigating corporate politics, and becoming president of Touchstone Television
On developing Home Improvement, starring Tim Allen as "Tim Taylor" and created by Matt Williams; on casting the role of "Jill Taylor" on Home Improvement; on the success of Home Improvement, and on how the show evolved over its run
On the difficulty developing Ellen, starring Ellen DeGeneres; on Ellen DeGeneres' decision for her character "Ellen Morgan" to come out of the closet on Ellen, and on ABC's reaction
On the filming of the Ellen episode "The Puppy Episode," and on the cultural impact of the character coming out; on the Disney/ABC merger, and on the main players including Michael Eisner and Tom Murphy; on taking over the Disney Television Animation division

Chapter 3

On reinventing ABC's Saturday morning lineup in the 1990s; on his philosophy for family and children's programming
On programming ABC's TGIF Friday nights, and on Boy Meets World; on leaving ABC/Disney
On being named president and chief executive of UPN a year after it launched; on the steps he took as president and chief executive officer of UPN to boost ratings, and on battling the WB; on programming and developing Star Trek: Voyager
On the fate of UPN, and on The CW; on acquiring Buffy the Vampire Slayer from The WB for UPN, and on missing out on Survivor ; on his frustrations as president of UPN, and on the Paramount/Viacom deal
On leaving UPN in 2001; on starting comedy.com, and on ways to generate revenues from digital media

Chapter 4

On his company, Symbolic Actions; on his involvement in establishing the first directors training program for the Directors Guild; on his role in the establishment of the Archive of American Television, and on his friend writer Danny Arnold
On then-current projects; on career achievements and regrets; on advice to an aspiring television executive, and to a creator of programming
On his then-future, and on his name; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Blossom

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Dean Valentine on Touchstone Television's relationship with Witt/Thomas Productions, producers of The Golden Girls and Blossom
04:08

Boy Meets World

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Dean Valentine on programming ABC's TGIF Friday nights, and on Boy Meets World
04:36

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Dean Valentine on acquiring Buffy the Vampire Slayer from The WB for UPN, and on missing out on Survivor
02:50

Dinosaurs

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Dean Valentine on working with various writers, including Matt Williams and Michael Jacobs, creator of Dinosaurs
04:54

Ellen

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Dean Valentine on the difficulty developing Ellen, starring Ellen DeGeneres
04:36
Dean Valentine on phase two of Ellen, starring Ellen DeGeneres
01:14
Dean Valentine on Ellen DeGeneres' decision for her character "Ellen Morgan" to come out of the closet on Ellen, and on ABC's reaction
04:47
Dean Valentine on the filming of the Ellen episode "The Puppy Episode," and on the cultural impact of the character coming out
06:13

Golden Girls, The

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Dean Valentine on Touchstone Television's relationship with Witt/Thomas Productions, producers of The Golden Girls and Blossom
04:08

Home Improvement

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Dean Valentine on developing Home Improvement, starring Tim Allen as "Tim Taylor" and created by Matt Williams
06:57
Dean Valentine on casting the role of "Jill Taylor" on Home Improvement first with Frances Fisher, then Patricia Richardson
03:00
Dean Valentine on the success of Home Improvement, and on how the show evolved over its run
03:13
Dean Valentine on ABC's scheduling of Home Improvement
04:57
Dean Valentine on the popularity of Home Improvement
01:18

Star Trek: Voyager

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Dean Valentine on programming and developing Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise
05:52

Survivor

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Dean Valentine on acquiring Buffy the Vampire Slayer from The WB for UPN, and on missing out on Survivor
02:50

227

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Dean Valentine on developing 227 and on Norman Lear's Embassy shows
01:54
Topics

Advice

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Dean Valentine on advice to an aspiring television executive, and to a creator of programming
05:06

Diversity in Television

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Dean Valentine on Ellen DeGeneres' decision for her character "Ellen Morgan" to come out of the closet on Ellen, and on th cultural impact of "The Puppy Episode"
11:00

Historic Events and Social Change

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Dean Valentine on Ellen DeGeneres' decision for her character "Ellen Morgan" to come out of the closet on Ellen, and on th cultural impact of "The Puppy Episode"
11:00

LGBTQ

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Dean Valentine on Ellen DeGeneres' decision for her character "Ellen Morgan" to come out of the closet on Ellen, and on th cultural impact of "The Puppy Episode"
11:00

Media Consolidation

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Dean Valentine on the Disney/ABC merger, and on the main players including Michael Eisner and Tom Murphy
03:21

Network Creation

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Dean Valentine on being named president and chief executive of UPN a year after it launched
06:40
Dean Valentine on the steps he took as president and chief executive officer of UPN to boost ratings, and on battling The WB
04:37

Television Industry

View Topic
Dean Valentine on the state of NBC when he worked there in the 1980s
02:41
Dean Valentine on his position and his responsibilities in comedy development at NBC
06:13
Dean Valentine on leaving NBC and on going to work in development for Disney Television, later Touchstone Television
05:08
Dean Valentine on reinventing the television division of Disney with Touchstone Television
03:30
Dean Valentine on navigating corporate politics, and becoming president of Touchstone Television
05:20
Dean Valentine on the Disney/ABC merger, and on the main players including Michael Eisner and Tom Murphy
03:21
Dean Valentine on taking over the Disney Television Animation division
Dean Valentine on leaving ABC/Disney
04:47
Dean Valentine on being named president and chief executive of UPN a year after it launched
06:40
Dean Valentine on the steps he took as president and chief executive officer of UPN to boost ratings, and on battling The WB
04:37
Dean Valentine on the fate of UPN, and on The CW
03:40
Dean Valentine on leaving UPN in 2001
02:12
Dean Valentine on advice to an aspiring television executive, and to a creator of programming
05:06
Professions

Executives

View Profession
Dean Valentine on the differences between working on the network side as a buyer, and on the studio side as a seller
07:27
Dean Valentine on his position and his responsibilities at NBC
06:13
Dean Valentine on his philosophy for family and children's programming
04:04
Dean Valentine on his frustrations as president of UPN, and on the Paramount/Viacom deal
02:33
Dean Valentine on programming ABC's TGIF Friday nights, and on Boy Meets World
04:36
Dean Valentine on advice to an aspiring television executive, and to a creator of programming
05:06

Television Executive

View Profession
Dean Valentine on the differences between working on the network side as a buyer, and on the studio side as a seller
07:27
Dean Valentine on his position and his responsibilities at NBC
06:13
Dean Valentine on his philosophy for family and children's programming
04:04
Dean Valentine on his frustrations as president of UPN, and on the Paramount/Viacom deal
02:33
Dean Valentine on programming ABC's TGIF Friday nights, and on Boy Meets World
04:36
Dean Valentine on advice to an aspiring television executive, and to a creator of programming
05:06
Genres

Animation

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Dean Valentine on reinventing ABC's Saturday morning lineup in the 1990s
08:56

Comedy Series

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Dean Valentine on developing 227 and on Norman Lear's Embassy shows
01:57
Dean Valentine on Touchstone Television's relationship with Witt/Thomas Productions, producers of The Golden Girls and Blossom
04:08
Dean Valentine on developing Home Improvement
19:25
Dean Valentine on developing Ellen
16:50
People

Tim Allen

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Dean Valentine on developing Home Improvement starring Tim Allen as "Tim Taylor" and created by Matt Williams
06:57

Danny Arnold

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Dean Valentine on founding the Archive of American Television in honor of his friend Danny Arnold
13:16

Ellen DeGeneres

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Dean Valentine on developing Ellen starring Ellen DeGeneres
16:50

Michael Eisner

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Dean Valentine on working for Disney head Michael Eisner during his time at Touchstone Television, and on the culture at Disney
07:55
Dean Valentine on the Disney/ABC merger, and on the main players including Michael Eisner and Tom Murphy
03:23

Thomas Murphy

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Dean Valentine on the Disney/ABC merger, and on the main players including Michael Eisner and Tom Murphy
03:23

Brandon Tartikoff

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Dean Valentine on his personal and professional assessment of Brandon Tartikoff at NBC
04:40

Tony Thomas

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Dean Valentine on Touchstone Television's relationship with Witt/Thomas Productions (Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas,) producers of The Golden Girls and Blossom
04:08

Paul Junger Witt

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Dean Valentine on Touchstone Television's relationship with Witt/Thomas Productions (Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas,) producers of The Golden Girls and Blossom
04:08

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