As a contributor to the medium of television, Leonard Goldberg may be second only to his long-term collaborator, Aaron Spelling. Along with running his own production company, Mandy Films, Goldberg has acted as head of programming for ABC and president of 20th Century Fox. He is widely credited with introducing the concept of made for TV movies.
After graduating from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, Goldberg joined the research department of ABC Television. Goldberg moved to NBC after a year, and eventually left for a position with Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn Advertising. He returned to ABC as director of New York program development.
Working his way up to vice president of daytime programming for ABC, Goldberg helped develop such smash hits as “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and “Dark Shadows.” Within a year, Goldberg was tapped as head of all programming for the network, where he developed the fresh idea of movies made specifically for television. As master of the format, Goldberg was responsible for many of the most successful telefilms, including the Peabody Award-winning “Brian’s Song,” “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” which launched the career of John Travolta, and “Something About Amelia,” which won three Emmys and was one of the highest rated TV movies with nearly 70 million viewers.
After he left ABC, Goldberg became the vice president of production of Screen Gems (now Columbia Pictures Television). During his reign, they produced such hits as “The Partridge Family” and “Bewitched,” but his most productive collaboration came when he left to join Aaron Spelling. Together, they were responsible for such shows as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Fantasy Island” and the critically acclaimed “Family.” The team also produced 35 TV movies.
Goldberg became president of 20th Century Fox in 1987 and stayed until 1989, a period where the studio released such hits as “Die Hard,” “Big,” “Broadcast News” and “Wall Street.” Goldberg’s big screen credits include Julia Roberts’ “Sleeping with the Enemy,” Eddie Murphy’s “The Distinguished Gentleman” and the Oscar-winning “War Games.” He continues to work today and is producing “Unknown White Male,” which is scheduled for release in 2011.