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Warren Littlefield '74

Television Svengali

The Littlefield company represents the newest chapter in Littlefield's television career. In 2001 he signed a multi-year deal to develop and executive produce television shows for the Network Television Division of Paramount. The company has two series in production, DO OVER on the WB, and KEEN EDDIE that will air in '03 on Fox.

This follows his history-making career at NBC where under his watch as President of the Entertainment Division, NBC won an amazing 168 Emmy awards and numerous other industry honors. In addition, as President of NBC Entertainment, he oversaw the development and production of NBC's prime time, late night and Saturday-morning entertainment programming.

During his last three seasons with the network, NBC sold an industry record $6.5 billion in prime-time advertising — $2 billion more than its closest competitor.

While at the network, Littlefield was responsible for developing many of the series that defined quality programming over the past two decades. NBC was the top-rated network during 11 of his last 16 years there. In his last four years with the network, Littlefield helped orchestrate a renaissance at NBC and a return to first place in the ratings race, fueled by a long roster of hit series that he developed. They included: “Seinfeld,” “ER,” “Friends,” “Frasier,” “Mad About You,” “Just Shoot Me,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “NewsRadio,” “Law & Order,” and “Homicide: Life on the Street”. In his final year at NBC, he supervised the development of “Will and Grace” and “Providence,” both owned by NBC Studios as well as “The West Wing.”

Littlefield is also widely regarded as the NBC executive who hired and tirelessly supported Jay Leno as host of “The Tonight Show” following the retirement of the legendary Johnny Carson. This controversial decision led to NBC's return to dominance in late night for television. In May, Jay celebrated his 10th anniversary hosting the show. Littlefield also oversaw handing David Letterman's late night spot to Conan O'Brien.

Among a long list of Emmy and audience-winning long form programs, he acquired the holiday film classic “It's a Wonderful Life” and reinvented it as an “NBC Classic;” broadcast the encore presentation of the original “Peter Pan;” and supervised the development of the Emmy winning mini-series “Drug Wars: The Kiki Camarena Story.” He acquired and presented---without commercial interruption---the Oscar-winning film “Schindler's List,” which was seen by over 60 million Americans in its initial broadcast.

Littlefield joined NBC as Manager, Comedy Development, in December 1979. At that time, NBC had no comedies ranked among Nielsen's top 25 shows. Less than two years later, he was promoted to Vice President, Current Comedy Programs. As the captain of the network's comedy department, he helped develop award-winning series such as “Cheers,” “Family Ties,” “The Cosby Show,” “The Golden Girls,” and casting Will Smith in “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” During those years, NBC climbed out of the Nielsen ratings basement and went on to enjoy a history-making, six-year ride as the top-rated network.

A native of Montclair, N.J., Littlefield began his career at Westfall Productions in New York City, where he developed and produced prime-time specials and movies. At age 26, he produced “The Last Giraffe,” a made-for-television movie that was shot exclusively on location in Kenya.

He attended the School of Government and Public Administration at American University in Washington, D.C., before earning a degree in psychology at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y.

Littlefield is currently on the Board of Directors of Dynamic Digital Depth and serves on the boards of the L.A. Free Clinic, Heal the Bay, the Environmental Media Association, the National Coalition of Christians and Jews, and the UCLA School of Film, Theater and Television.

 

MORE INFO

Warren Littlefield
Hobart Class of 1974

Contribution: Founder/President of the Littlefield company, Former President of NBC Entertainment responsible for the development and production of NBC's prime time, late night and Saturday-morning entertainment programming


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