"I agreed to meet with Columbia. He takes out this little pad of paper and he says, 'Write down the terms under which you will come to Columbia. I'll deliver those terms.' I said, 'No.' He said, 'You can't tell me that there's no terms under which you'd come to Columbia.' I said, 'I will never walk into Lew Wasserman's office and say I'm leaving. Under any terms.' He looked at me for a second and said, 'You know something? I believe you.' And that was the end of that."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Sid Sheinberg talks about his early life and his years in law school. He describes going to work for Revue Productions, the then-television production arm of MCA, where he shepherded shows like Wagon Train and The Virginian. He chronicles Revue Productions evolution into Universal Television, where he became Vice President, and signed a young, unknown filmmaker named Steven Spielberg to a television writing and directing contract. Sheinberg recounts becoming President of Universal Television in 1971, and dealing with a host of issues such as the emergence of home video, cable and satellite television. He details Matsushita's and later Seagram's acquisition of Universal and his leaving to create his own production company, The Bubble Factory. He concludes by discussing his loyalty to Lew Wasserman, and by giving advice to aspiring television executives. Kathryn Harris conducted the interview on June 21, 2010 in Beverly Hills, CA.