"We had a number of successful shows, established a terrific base, built a full-fledged network that was profitable. But nothing is forever. The very definition of television is it's here today and it's gone tomorrow and it just leaves its memories. Or it shows up on TV Land as a rerun."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Frederick S. Pierce talks about how he first came to work at ABC in 1956 and his initial work as an analyst in the television research department, under Julius Barnathan. He discusses several of the series that ABC had on the air at the time and how the department collected data. He describes his move up the ladder at the network from Vice President to President of ABC Television in 1974. He speaks in great detail about several of the notable executives at the network, including Leonard Goldenson, Elton Rule, Fred Silverman and Roone Arledge. He explains how he reinvented the ABC prime-time schedule, shepherding such shows as Happy Days, The Love Boat and Baretta, which brought the network to the top of the ratings. He talks about some of the notable programming on ABC in these years, which included the creation of the miniseries. Lastly, he discusses ABC's buyout by Capital Cities in the mid-1980s and his retirement from the network after a three-decade tenure. Karen Herman conducted the interview in New York, NY on May 5, 2006.