We might not have two of America's most-loved TV shows, "Friends" and "Seinfeld" without this visionary man. Emmy award-winning producer Don Ohlmeyer made NBC the highest rated network, and he came up with the phrase "Must See TV." Ohlmeyer, who also produced "Monday Night Football," led NBC to the No. 1 prime-time spot, before his retirement.
His family shared that Ohlmeyer passed away on Sunday. He succumbed to a battle with cancer at the age of 72, reported the Los Angeles Times.
"It is with heavy hearts we share that Don Ohlmeyer, our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, has passed away at the age of 72 due to cancer," said his family's statement. "Surrounded by loved ones, he died peacefully at his home in Indian Wells."
NBC announced Ohlmeyer's passing yesterday during "Sunday Night Football." His Longtime friend Al Michaels announced Ohlmeyer's death during a game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
During his lifetime, Ohlmeyer won 16 Emmys. That included the Lifetime Achievement Award and two Peabody Awards.
NBC Entertainment Chairman, Robert Greenblatt, issued a statement from NBC after they heard of Ohlmeyer's death. The touching statement revealed how important Ohlmeyer was to prime time television.
"Don Ohlmeyer was a towering figure in sports and entertainment who had an indelible impact both on NBC and our industry," said Greenblatt. "His legacy will live on not only because he is directly responsible for some of the biggest hits in television—'Friends,' 'ER' and 'Will & Grace' to name a few—but also because he brought NBC to a new level of classy, sophisticated programming of the highest quality which we all still aspire to achieve today."
Ohlmeyer started out with sports before transitioning to entertainment. He worked as a gofer for ABC Sports while studying at Notre Dame. In 1967, he worked as a full-time production assistant for "Wide World of Sports." He also directed ABC's coverage of the Olympics. Later, at NBC Sports, he also produced the World Series and the Super Bowl broadcasts.
He left NBC to start his own firm, but he returned in 1993 as the president of the network's entertainment division. The network's ratings soared under his guidance because he decided to produce shows like "Seinfeld," ''Friends," ''ER" and "Frasier."
ESPN, which is now the home to his "Monday Night Football," also released a statement in recognition of Ohlmeyer. Ohlmeyer also worked with the network in the early 2000s.
"Don was a legendary television executive who always sought innovative ways to tell stories and captivate audiences," wrote ESPN. "His groundbreaking work on ABC's 'Monday Night Football' helped turn that franchise into a prime-time television hit."
Please pray for Ohlmeyer's family as they deal with his passing. Did you enjoy any of the TV shows he brought to the air? Let us know in the comments. In other entertainment news, conservatives are furious about what happened at the Miss America pageant last night.