Michael Dann

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Michael Harold Dann (September 11, 1921 – May 27, 2016) was an American television executive.

Dann was vice president of programming at CBS from 1963 to 1970, having worked there since leaving NBC in the late 1950s. He took a pragmatic approach to programming, opting not to enforce a personal vision for the network other than to try to get more viewers without regard to key demographics. To this effect, he commissioned a number of rural sitcoms for the network (a format he personally hated) and, in 1967, canceled all of the network's profitable, but low-rated, game shows. He believed in the notions of hammocking and tent-pole programming, in which a new or struggling sitcom could be made more successful by putting more successful shows before and after it. Many of Dann's approaches to programming would be reversed when Fred Silverman replaced Dann in 1970; Silverman orchestrated the "rural purge" and took the network into a sleeker, more urban-oriented direction. After leaving CBS, Dann joined the upstart Children's Television Workshop.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan in September 1921. Dann died in May 2016 at the age of 94.[1]


  1. ^ "Michael Dann, TV Programmer, Dies at 94; Scheduled Horowitz and Hillbillies". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
Business positions
Preceded by
Hubbell Robinson
Vice President, Programs CBS
Succeeded by
Fred Silverman