Richard Frank

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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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." 

Highlights
Richard Frank on developing The Disney Channel
03:44
Richard Frank on his friendship with Barry Diller
01:29
Richard Frank on creating Entertainment Tonight
10:31
Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out
06:10
Richard Frank on advice to aspiring executives
00:55
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

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Richard Frank on developing Empty Nest and Blossom
02:08

Cheers

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Richard Frank on keeping Cheers and Family Ties on the air after low-rated first years
01:40
Richard Frank on developing Cheers
03:50
Richard Frank on Shelley Long's departure from Cheers
02:57

Ellen

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Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out
06:10

Empty Nest

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Richard Frank on developing Empty Nest and Blossom
02:08

Family Ties

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Richard Frank on keeping Cheers and Family Ties on the air after low-rated first years
01:40
Richard Frank on developing Family Ties
02:57

Golden Girls, The

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Richard Frank on developing The Golden Girls
07:49

Happy Days

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Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley 
05:51
Richard Frank on the legacy of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley
03:13

Home Improvement

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Richard Frank on dealing with backstage gossip and controversy  
04:01
Richard Frank on developing Home Improvement
03:16

Laverne & Shirley

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Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley
05:51
Richard Frank on the troubled last year of Laverne and Shirley and selling it into syndication
04:04
Richard Frank on the legacy of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley
03:13

Live with Regis and Kathie Lee

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Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
02:52

Mad Men

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Richard Frank on getting into advertising
05:36

Siskel & Ebert & the Movies

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Richard Frank on developing Siskel & Ebert & the Movies
03:17

Solid Gold

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Richard Frank on creating Solid Gold
06:26

Taxi

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Richard Frank on on overseeing production of Taxi
08:30
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Richard Frank on the ever-changing landscape of television and dealing with Standards and Practices
03:03

Diversity in Television

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Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out
06:00

Emmy Awards

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Richard Frank on his time as the President of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
04:34

LGBTQ

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Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out
06:00

Media Consolidation

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Richard Frank on seeing the future of new media and vertical integration
04:46

Network Creation

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Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service
05:00

Technological Innovation

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Richard Frank on seeing the future of new media and vertical integration 
04:46
Richard Frank on the effect of the internet on programming now and in the future
05:51

Television Industry

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Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service
05:00
Richard Frank on the ever-changing landscape of television and dealing with Standards and Practices
03:03
Richard Frank on seeing the future of new media and vertical integration
04:46
Richard Frank on the effect of the internet on programming now and in the future
05:51
Professions

Executives

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Richard Frank on working with Michael Eisner on the Paramount Television Group and learning how to work with writers
04:14
Richard Frank on his philosophy as a television executive
09:22
Richard Frank on dealing with backstage gossip and controversy  
04:01
Richard Frank on his management style and the qualities he looks for in his team
03:36
Richard Frank on advice to aspiring executives
00:55

Television Executive

View Profession
Richard Frank on working with Michael Eisner on the Paramount Television Group and learning how to work with writers
04:14
Richard Frank on his philosophy as a television executive
09:22
Richard Frank on dealing with backstage gossip and controversy  
04:01
Richard Frank on his management style and the qualities he looks for in his team
03:36
Richard Frank on advice to aspiring executives
00:55
Genres

Comedy Series

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Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley
13:08
Richard Frank on overseeing production of Taxi
08:30
Richard Frank on developing Family Ties
02:56
Richard Frank on developing Cheers
06:49
Richard Frank on developing The Golden Girls
07:59
Richard Frank on developing Ellen
06:00

Service Shows

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Richard Frank on developing Siskel & Ebert & the Movies
03:17

Talk Shows

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Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
02:52
People

Tim Allen

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Richard Frank on developing Home Improvement
03:16

James L. Brooks

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Richard Frank on overseeing production of Taxi
08:30

Ellen DeGeneres

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Richard Frank on developing Ellen, and "Ellen" coming out
06:00

Barry Diller

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Richard Frank on working with Barry Diller
03:49
Richard Frank on making the transition from Paramount to Disney
03:35

Michael Eisner

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Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service
05:00
Richard Frank on working with Michael Eisner on the Paramount Television Group and learning how to work with writers
04:14
Richard Frank on making the transition from Paramount to Disney
03:55
Richard Frank on resigning from Disney due to discord
03:44

Michael J. Fox

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Richard Frank on developing Family Ties
02:56

Kathie Lee Gifford

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Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
02:52

Gary David Goldberg

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Richard Frank on developing Family Ties
02:56

Susan Harris

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Richard Frank on building Disney Television's programming slate
02:56

Mary Hart

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Richard Frank on hiring Mary Hart for Entertainment Tonight
01:06

Jeffrey Katzenberg

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Richard Frank on the failed Paramount Television Service
05:00
Richard Frank on making the transition from Paramount to Disney
03:35
Richard Frank on resigning from Disney due to discord
03:44

Shelley Long

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Richard Frank on Shelley Long's departure from Cheers
02:57

Garry Marshall

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Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley
05:51

Regis Philbin

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Richard Frank on developing Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
02:52

Tony Thomas

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Richard Frank on building Disney Television's programming slate
02:56

Dionne Warwick

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Richard Frank on creating Solid Gold
06:26

Betty White

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Richard Frank on developing The Golden Girls
07:59

Henry Winkler

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Richard Frank on overseeing production of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley 
05:51

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