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TV Great Grant Tinker Dies, Former CEO Of NBC Was 90

Deadline logo Deadline 11/30/2016 Nellie Andreeva
In this Saturday, Nov. 1, 1997, file photo, Television executive Grant Tinker holds up his Hall of Fame award alongside his ex-wife Mary Tyler Moore © AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File In this Saturday, Nov. 1, 1997, file photo, Television executive Grant Tinker holds up his Hall of Fame award alongside his ex-wife Mary Tyler Moore

Grant Tinker, former chairman and CEO of NBC, died on Tuesday, Nov. 29. He was  90.

In 1969, Tinker and his then-wife, actress Mary Tyler Moore, launched MTM Enterprises. The company became an indie powerhouse, producing such popular series as the ground-breaking The Mary Tyler Moore Show, starring Moore, Rhoda, The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere.

In 1981, Tinker left to become chairman and CEO of  then-last-place network NBC. There, with Brandon Tartikoff as his entertainment president, Tinker spearheaded a ratings turnaround, with NBC rising from last to first place on the strength of a series of hit new series, including The Cosby Show, Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Cheers, Night Court, and Hill Street Blues. Tinker left NBC in 1986, following its acquisition by NBC.

Tinker won a personal Peabody Award in 1994 and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997. He is survived by his sons, director-producer Mark Tinker and writer-producer John Tinker.

“Grant Tinker was a great man who made an indelible mark on NBC and the history of television that continues to this day,” NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said in a statement. “He loved creative people and protected them, while still expertly managing the business. Very few people have been able to achieve such a balance. We try to live up to the standards he set each and every day. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

This Oct. 14, 2011 file photo shows actress Debbie Reynolds posing for a portrait in New York. In Memoriam 2016
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