Herbert F. Solow, a longtime tv government who pitched the unique “Star Trek” collection to NBC whereas he was at Desilu Studios, together with “Mission Inconceivable” and “Mannix,” died on Thursday, his spouse, Dr. Harrison Solow, confirmed. He was 89.
In later years, he and his spouse wrote a number of books on the “Star Trek” collection, together with “Inside Star Trek: The Actual Story” and “The Star Trek Sketchbook.”
Solow was introduced in by Lucille Ball after her divorce from Desi Arnaz to assist revive Desilu Studios, the place he helped develop and promote “Star Trek” to NBC — after CBS initially turned it down as a result of it already had “Misplaced in House” — in addition to “Mission: Inconceivable” and “Mannix” to CBS.
Solow helped information “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry on their pitch to the community, and continued to champion the collection till Ball herself obtained behind the hassle.
Solow instructed the publication Carpe Articulum that he got here up with the concept of presenting the story as a flashback. “I made a key change whereby we handled each episode, the entire collection, as a flashback and invented Star Date,” he mentioned. “A flashback could be very attention-grabbing. Individuals grow to be sort of relaxed with the characters and the story realizing what they had been watching had already occurred. We’re not coping with the long run, completely not, we’re coping with telling a narrative from the previous. The Captain’s Log setup every present. Backside-line, telling the story from the previous was an enormous plus.”
He additionally helped persuade Roddenberry that Spock ought to retain the pointed ears, however lose the devilish lengthy tail and purple face.
Born in New York, Solow began out at William Morris, then joined NBC in New York, the place he established the worldwide tv gross sales division. After shifting to Los Angeles, he oversaw improvement and manufacturing for NBC’s syndicated packages and created the collection “Boots and Saddles.”
He had a stint in daytime programming at CBS, the place he oversaw reveals reminiscent of “Artwork Linkletter’s Home Get together,” earlier than rejoining NBC, the place he labored with Grant Tinker and supervised manufacturing of “Let’s Make a Deal.”
After Gulf & Western bought Desilu, Solow left to grow to be VP of worldwide tv manufacturing at MGM, which had gotten out of the tv enterprise. Solow revived the TV arm, creating reveals together with “Then Got here Bronson,” “Medical Middle” and “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” and bought all three in the identical week to the three networks.
At MGM, he went on to function VP of worldwide movement image and tv manufacturing, and headed MGM’s Culver Metropolis studios and the Borehamwood studios in England, working with administrators together with Robert Altman, Blake Edwards and David Lean.
Solow produced the MGM documentary function “Elvis: That’s the Method It Was,” working carefully with the singer.
He segued into impartial manufacturing, writing and producing tv films and dealing with comic Don Rickles. Then as a VP at Hanna-Barbera, he produced live-action productions reminiscent of “Man From Atlantis.”
Transferring into options, he produced movies together with “Brimstone & Treacle,” “Get Loopy” and “Saving Grace” with Tom Conti.
Solow and his spouse spent a number of years in Wales, the place he grew to become an honorary visiting analysis fellow on the College of Wales. He was a member of the WGA, the DGA and the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences, the place he served on a number of nominating committees.
He’s survived by his spouse.