Richard Frank

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his nearly three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Richard Frank discusses his early years working in advertising. He talks about his stint in local Los Angeles television, at both KTLA and KCOP, and speaks of developing the Operation Prime Time consortium, which brought programing (including the made-for-television films Sadat and A Woman Called Golda) to local independent stations around the country. He recounts his transition to Paramount Television, where he oversaw the creation of Entertainment Tonight, and attempted to launch the ill-fated Paramount Television Service. He discusses at length his time as President of the Paramount Television Group, where he oversaw production of Happy Days and developed Cheers, and outlines his transition over to Disney Television, where along with Michael Eisner, he developed such hits as The Golden Girls and Empty Nest. Frank talks about the importance of executives adjusting to the new media landscape, and comments on his then-current work at his production company, Prospect Park. Jim McKairnes conducted the interview on June 29, 2012 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"It's not called show art; it's called show business. We do the best we can do, for the budget we have, and within the parameters that we've established when we go forward and decide to do a show." 

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Richard Frank on developing The Disney Channel
Richard Frank on his friendship with Barry Diller
Richard Frank on creating Entertainment Tonight
Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out
Richard Frank on advice to aspiring executives
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on television he watched growing up; on getting into advertising and working at KTLA
On working at KCOP and Operation Prime Time; on the Paramount Television Service
On creating Solid Gold; on creating Entertainment Tonight
On being President of the Paramount Television Group; on working with Michael Eisner and Barry Diller

Chapter 2

On his friendship with Barry Diller; on his philosophy as a television executive; on dealing with Standards and Practices
On overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley; on overseeing production of Taxi 
On developing Family Ties; on developing Cheers  and dealing with cast departures
On dealing with backstage problems and the press; on his transition from Paramount to Disney; on developing Home Improvement

Chapter 3

On building Disney Television; on developing The Golden Girls; on developing Ellen and "Ellen" coming out
On developing Empty Nest and Blossom; on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and Siskel & Ebert; on the arrival of new media
On his exit from Disney; on his involvement with E! Entertainment Television; on his involvement with Integrated Entertainment Partners
On his production company Prospect Park; on producing Royal Pains and Wilfred; on his time as President of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Chapter 4

On the effect of the internet on network and cable programming; on the Archive of American Television
On his management style; on his winery; on his achievements and regrets and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Blossom

View Show Page
Richard Frank on developing Empty Nest and Blossom

Cheers

View Show Page
Richard Frank on keeping Cheers and Family Ties on the air after low-rated first years
Richard Frank on developing Cheers
Richard Frank on Shelley Long's departure from Cheers

Ellen

View Show Page
Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out

Empty Nest

View Show Page
Richard Frank on developing Empty Nest and Blossom

Family Ties

View Show Page
Richard Frank on keeping Cheers and Family Ties on the air after low-rated first years
Richard Frank on developing Family Ties

Golden Girls, The

View Show Page
Richard Frank on developing The Golden Girls

Happy Days

View Show Page
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley 
Richard Frank on the legacy of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley

Home Improvement

View Show Page
Richard Frank on dealing with backstage gossip and controversy  
Richard Frank on developing Home Improvement

Laverne & Shirley

View Show Page
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley
Richard Frank on the troubled last year of Laverne and Shirley and selling it into syndication
Richard Frank on the legacy of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley

Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

View Show Page
Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

Mad Men

View Show Page
Richard Frank on getting into advertising

Siskel & Ebert & the Movies

View Show Page
Richard Frank on developing Siskel & Ebert & the Movies

Solid Gold

View Show Page
Richard Frank on creating Solid Gold

Taxi

View Show Page
Richard Frank on on overseeing production of Taxi
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Richard Frank on the ever-changing landscape of television and dealing with Standards and Practices

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Richard Frank on his time as the President of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

LGBTQ

View Topic
Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out

Media Consolidation

View Topic
Richard Frank on seeing the future of new media and vertical integration

Network Creation

View Topic
Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Richard Frank on seeing the future of new media and vertical integration 
Richard Frank on the effect of the internet on programming now and in the future

Television Industry

View Topic
Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service
Richard Frank on the ever-changing landscape of television and dealing with Standards and Practices
Richard Frank on seeing the future of new media and vertical integration
Richard Frank on the effect of the internet on programming now and in the future
Professions

Executives

View Profession
Richard Frank on working with Michael Eisner on the Paramount Television Group and learning how to work with writers
Richard Frank on his philosophy as a television executive
Richard Frank on dealing with backstage gossip and controversy  
Richard Frank on his management style and the qualities he looks for in his team
Richard Frank on advice to aspiring executives

Television Executive

View Profession
Richard Frank on working with Michael Eisner on the Paramount Television Group and learning how to work with writers
Richard Frank on his philosophy as a television executive
Richard Frank on dealing with backstage gossip and controversy  
Richard Frank on his management style and the qualities he looks for in his team
Richard Frank on advice to aspiring executives
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Taxi
Richard Frank on developing Family Ties
Richard Frank on developing Cheers
Richard Frank on developing The Golden Girls
Richard Frank on developing Ellen

Service Shows

View Genre
Richard Frank on developing Siskel & Ebert & the Movies

Talk Shows

View Genre
Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
People

Tim Allen

View Person Page
Richard Frank on developing Home Improvement

James L. Brooks

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Taxi

Ellen DeGeneres

View Person Page
Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out

Barry Diller

View Person Page
Richard Frank on working with Barry Diller
Richard Frank on making the transition from Paramount to Disney

Michael Eisner

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service
Richard Frank on working with Michael Eisner on the Paramount Television Group and learning how to work with writers
Richard Frank on making the transition from Paramount to Disney
Richard Frank on resigning from Disney due to discord

Michael J. Fox

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on developing Family Ties

Kathie Lee Gifford

View Person Page
Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

Gary David Goldberg

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on developing Family Ties

Susan Harris

View Person Page
Richard Frank on building Disney Television's programming slate

Mary Hart

View Person Page
Richard Frank on hiring Mary Hart for Entertainment Tonight

Jeffrey Katzenberg

View Person Page
Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service
Richard Frank on making the transition from Paramount to Disney
Richard Frank on resigning from Disney due to discord

Shelley Long

View Person Page
Richard Frank on Shelley Long's departure from Cheers

Garry Marshall

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley

Regis Philbin

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

Tony Thomas

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on building Disney Television's programming slate

Dionne Warwick

View Person Page
Richard Frank on creating Solid Gold

Betty White

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on developing The Golden Girls

Henry Winkler

View Interview Page
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley 

All Interviews

Q
S