Thursday, July 30, 2009

Galactica Producer Dies

Harvey Frand, 68, an Emmy-winning producer who was the "Wizard behind the curtain" on the hit "Battlestar Galactica," died July 23, 2009, in Los Angeles, after a brief hospitalization for respiratory problems.

Frand's series-producing career began in 1982 with "The Devlin Connection," Rock Hudson's final series. Other credits include 34 episodes of the 1985-89 version of "The Twilight Zone," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Young Riders," "The Lazarus Man," "The Pretender" and "Strange World." He produced more than 20 pilots and movies of the week.

Intriguingly, the plot of "Strange World," which he produced in 1999, is often forgotten but should not. Here's the summary, based on info from IMDb:

"The X-Files" writer/executive producer Howard Gordon and producer Harvey Frand present an exploration of a nefarious world where "big business" funds "big science," and the answers Paul Turner finds lead to more questions than have ever been imagined. After exposure to chemical weapons during the Gulf War, ex-Government scientist Turner spent six isolated years fighting for his life until an enigmatic Asian woman saved him with a miraculous cure that lasted only temporarily. Ever since, the illness has regularly returned to ravage Turner's body until the woman mysteriously reappears to provide another dose. After a six year absence, Turner returns to the Army as a Special Investigator in charge of tracking down the Frankensteins of the world. Turner's belief that the government is too slow and inefficient to protect us from the unchecked advances of science proves to be all too true in this show that features such ripped- from-the-headlines fare as cloning and genetic engineering.

Frand began on Syfy's "Galactica" in 2003. For his work on the show, he earned a Peabody Award in 2005, an AFI Award in 2006 and an Emmy last year. During July 2009, he was nominated for a second Emmy, reports Mark Barnes and editor Sheri Linden at Reuters.

"Harvey was the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain, the train engineer, the orchestra conductor, the school guidance counselor," NBC Universal executive Todd Sharp said. "He was adored by executive producers and production assistants, studio and network, cast and crew."

A native of Philadelphia, Frand began in television at NBC News. Later, as an executive at Warner Brothers, he oversaw production on "Harry O," the 1973 series starring David Janssen. Frand went to San Diego to check in with the company and, because there was no on-site producer, stayed to work with the cast and crew. After that, he was fell in love with the role of producer.

Frand is survived by Bill Bowersock, his domestic partner of 32 years.


Red Pill Junkie said...

I don't watch much television these days. Never seen an episode of 24 or Lost.

The exception comes with BSG. I bought the series on DVD —still waiting for the arrival of season 4.5, so don't tell me how it ends!!

I believe that History students in the future will be required to watch this television show, in order to grasp the Zeitgest of the Bush era.

markbaard said...

sad. bsg is genius