"Providing a home for creative people and people to be happy and enjoying coming to work everyday. That gave me a great deal of joy."
About This Interview
In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, television executive and producer Lee Rich (1927-2012) talks about starting out in television at the advertising agency Benton & Bowles, where he worked to package and sell The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Danny Thomas Show. Largely serving as an additional producer on the shows during those early days of television, when advertising agencies enjoyed almost total control over programming, Mr. Rich recounts how he left the agency in 1965 to form his own production company, Mirisch-Rich Productions. The company produced such television programs as The Rat Patrol and one of the first Garry Marshall/Jerry Belson shows, Hey, Landlord. Mr. Rich discusses in detail the formation of the hugely successful production company Lorimar in 1969, which generated television hits The Waltons, Dallas, Eight is Enough, Knots Landing and numerous television movies including Sybil and Helter Skelter. Jeffrey Glaser conducted the interview on April 12, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA.