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Brandon Tartikoff

Age: 48
television executive

Tartikoff, a powerful and well-liked television executive (an anomaly in Hollywood), is credited with transforming NBC from the laughing stock of network television into a dominating force. During his tenure with NBC, which began in 1977 and lasted until 1991, Tartikoff signed such mega-hits as The Cosby Show, Cheers and L.A. Law. He also established NBC's untouchable Thursday night lineup, which has dominated network television for nearly 15 years. He left NBC to spend time with his family after his daughter nearly died in a car accident.

Born: 1949
Died: Aug. 27, 1997

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