Thanks Grant Tinker For 'WKRP,' 'Cheers,' "Hill Street Blues" and Great TV

Dec 1, 2016

Grant Tinker with former wife Mary Tyler Moore
Credit NPR

Thanks, Grant Tinker, for all the great TV.

Tinker, who died Monday at age 90, was NBC chairman 1981-86 and co-founder of the MTM studio in 1970 with wife Mary Tyler Moore.

He brought "Hill Street Blues," "St. Elsewhere" and "Cheers" to NBC, and stuck with Ted Danson's Boston sitcom when it was at the bottom of the ratings its first season in 1982-83. Now everybody knows his name.

"WKRP in Cincinnati" cast photo for 1978 CBS premiere.
Credit CBS Television

Tinker added "Family Ties," "The Cosby Show," "Golden Girls," "Night Court" and  "L.A. Law," reviving the sitcom and leading NBC to No. 1 and starting a new Golden Age of TV.

His MTM Enterrprises not only produced the hit "Mary Tyler Moore" sitcom, but also "The Bob Newhart Show," "Rhoda,""Phyllis," "Lou Grant," "The White Shadow," "WKRP in Cincinnati" and "The New WKRP in Cincinnati."

Tinker was honored with a Peabody Award in 1994 “for recognizing, protecting, and fostering creativity of the highest order.” Here's a link to the NPR story about Tinker.