How I Got Started as a TV Producer by Gary Grossman

HOW I GOT STARTED AS A TV PRODUCER

By Gary Grossman
Author of “Executive Command”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qViHfjhv_Ys&feature=youtu.be

www.garygrossman.com





If a picture tells a story, then two pictures might provide a “novel” answer.

As I consider how I got started in television I have to go back to when I was a childhood fan of “The Adventures of Superman.” The show was awe inspiring, mesmerizing, amazing. Since we were one of the first families on the block to have a TV set, by proxy, that made our home pretty popular. So my sister and I hosted weekly Superman parties in front of our General Electic TV set. It was small for sure, but the excitement was huge. I knew the series wasn’t real, but what adventures unfolded!

Add to that the day my mother and father took us to the “Howdy Doody Show” in New York. While the other kids watched the puppets, I was mesmerized by the cameras. So that’s how they make TV, I thought.

Pretty amazing revelation for a young kid.

Of course, this was decades before iPhones, GoPros, and all the other video devices we live with today. The closest thing I had to TV was radio and that was the next direct step for me. As a teenager I became a ham radio operator, working only in Morse Code, but communicating to others around the U.S. (and on really good nights) around the world.

From there, I wanted to get my voice out.

Our local radio station in Hudson, New York provided that opportunity. I volunteered to mow the lawn in front of WHUC. That gave me admitance through the front door and as a freshmen in high school I earned my way on the air hosting a daily after school rock radio show called “Teen Time.” (Well, truth be told, the full title was “Teen Time, Young Columbia and Greene Time,” but I was too embarrassed to say all of that most days.) The second photo captures that era.

The non-paying gig led to paid hours at the station until I went off to college in Boston to study radio, TV and film. That was Emerson College in Boston. My junior year I began working at WBZ-TV, operating camera, lights, running master control and more. In turn, that led to producing local documentaries and other programs.

A career as a college teacher and a Boston newspaper television critic followed. During that time I wrote two non-fiction books about TV – “Superman: Serial to Cereal,” which took me back to photo #1 and my roots; and “Saturday Morning TV” which did more of the same. {check them out at www.garygrossman.com}

A few years later, I decided to get back into television. This time it was either going to be New York or Los Angeles. I chose LA. Using contacts I developed as a TV critic I scored a job in Hollywood. (I didn’t have to mow the lawn this time to get in!)

That first job was in development at a small independent production company. I worked on creating specials, TV movies, and series. All uphill. I was very grateful to be on “the inside” when a wonderful friend of mine from WBZ in Boston and Emerson College, Vin DiBona, brought me in as a producer for a new daily entertainment news show – “Entertainment Tonight.” (By the way, you’re likely to know Vin’s name because he created ABC’s longest running series “America’s Funniest Home Videos!”)

From ET, I produced series and speical for ABC, NBC and NBC News, CBS, Fox, PBS. Then I ultimately started Weller/Grossman Productions with “Entertainment Tonight” co-host Robb Weller. (Connections count!) Our years together at our company resulted in the production of more than 9,000 programs for 36 TV networks including History, A&E, Food Network, HGTV, Syfy, CNN, and USA Network. On my shelf – two Emmys and multiple Emmy nominations and the satisfaction and pride that comes from creating worthwhile documentaries, news specials and engaging service-and-information series.

Now I still work in TV, with old friends and new colleagues. I’m in contact with the cast of the Superman TV series, associates from Boston and childhood buddies. And I write. I always write. Today, it’s relevant, fast- paced, exciting and engaging political thrillers. My “Executive” eBook series is published by Diversion Books/ NYC. The titles include “Executive Actions,” “Executive Treason” and now “Executive Command

I’ve set elements of my thrillers in my home town. I lean on radio and TV for much of my story telling and many characters are named after the actors and guest stars of “The Adventures of Superman.” How’s that for coming full circle!

The books are widely acclaimed and fans put me in the company of many fabulous thriller writers. I hope you will too.

Thanks for reading and sending me along a memorable and fun run to today.

About the Author:
Gary Grossman is an Emmy Award-winning network television producer, a print and television journalist, a novelist and a film and TV historian.  His career has included stints producing for NBC News, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS and 36 cable networks. He is author of three celebrated International “political reality thrillers,” EXECUTIVE COMMAND, EXECUTIVE ACTIONS and EXECUTIVE TREASON and two acclaimed non-fiction books covering pop culture and television history –  Superman: Serial to Cereal and Saturday Morning TV.

Grossman has been partnered with Robb Weller in Los Angeles-based Weller/Grossman Productions, a prolific television production company.  Together, they produced more than 9,000 programs and earned numerous awards including the prestigious Governor’s Emmy Award for their USA Network special, “Healing the Hate,” and an Emmy for Best Informational series with the production of “Wolfgang Puck” for Food Network.  Their documentary “Beyond the Da Vinci Code” (History Channel) earned two national Emmy nominations.  In all, Grossman has received 14 Emmy nominations.

In addition, Gary Grossman is now a principal in World Media Strategies, a new International branded entertainment marketing content company with offices in Los Angeles and Miami.  WMS produces television specials and series for travel destinations, corporate clients and government entities.
Grossman earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Emerson College in Boston and a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs from Boston University.

He began his broadcasting career as a rock disc jockey at WHUC, in Hudson, New York.  He worked at Boston television station, WBZ; joined The Boston Globe as a special contributor, and then became the television critic and media columnist at The Boston Herald American.  His freelance articles have appeared in The New York Times and numerous magazines.  He taught journalism and media at Emerson College, Boston University, and USC and guest lectured at colleges and universities across the country.
Grossman helped formulate, program and launch television cable networks including HGTV, Fit TV, National Geographic Channel, and The Africa Channel.

Grossman serves on the Emerson College Board of Trustees and chairs the Academic Affairs Committee.
He is also a member of the Boston University Metropolitan College Advisory Board.  For was chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Caucus for Television Producers, Directors & Writers, a Hollywood-based media activist group and a member of The International Thriller Writers Association.

His latest book is the political thriller, Executive Command.

Visit Gary on the web at www.GaryGrossman.com.
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