"Network television's role is to put asses in the seats to watch commercials. Anybody who doesn't want to admit that shouldn't be in the business. That doesn't mean that the programming that you do can't be uplifting, or challenging, or inspiring. But it's not initially about the programming. It is about coming up with programs that enough people want to see, that advertisers want to advertise in. That's just the way the game is."
About This Interview
In his four-hour Archive interview, Don Ohlmeyer talks about his early years in television as an associate director for ABC sports. He shares memorable moments from his experiences directing the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He describes producing the popular series of specials Battle of the Network Stars, his transition to NBC sports and the creation of Ohlmeyer Communications, under which he produced the Emmy-winning television movie Special Bulletin. He details his move back to NBC, where he served as President of West Coast Operations and reinvigorated the network with "Must See TV" and post-Johnny Carson late-night television. Finally, he chronicles his departure from NBC, his brief return to Monday Night Football and his current passions: painting, teaching, and writing. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview on November 17, 2004 in Malibu, CA.