Herbert F. Solow dead at 89: Stark Trek producer who sold the show to NBC passes away
Herbert F. Solow has died aged 89, his wife, Dr. Harrison Solow, confirmed on Friday.
The television executive, who persuaded NBC to buy the original Star Trek series, passed away on Thursday according to a report from Variety.
Herb helped bolster the sci-fi classic’s success after he was hired by actress Lucille Ball to revive her production company Desilu Studios, and helped develop the series that was in its early stages with creator Gene Roddenberry.
RIP: Stark Trek producer Herbert F. Solow has died aged 89, it was revealed on Friday
Originally, the TV executive turned to CBS to try to pitch the show, but the channel turned them down as they already felt they had their sci-fi show bracket filled with Lose In Space.
Herb decided to then go to NBC for his pitch, and, alongside Lucille, persuaded the network to commission a pilot from Roddenberry, titled The Cage.
When the product was finished, however, NBC were far from pleased but decided to commission a second pilot with a new cast rather than drop the show altogether.
Tragic: The television executive, who persuaded NBC to buy the original Star Trek series, passed away on Thursday (L-R: Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner in the show)
Behind-the-scenes: Herb helped bolster the sci-fi classic’s success after he was hired by Lucille Ball to revive her production company Desilu Studios and helped develop the series
As such, Roddenberry created the iconic pilot Where No Man Has Gone Before, with William Shatner taking on the iconic role of Captain Christopher Pike after the departure of original star Jeffrey Hunter, which was then greenlit.
In the book These Are The Voyages, it was revealed Herb was one of two executives who firmly supported and championed Star Trek, persuading Lucille that it was not the financial risk everyone else saw it as.
He even helped Roddenberry with the show, convincing the creator to have Spock (Leonard Nimoy) keep his pointed ears but no longer have red skin and a pointed tail.
Support: Herb pitched the show to NBC, who greenlit it after a second pilot with a revamped cast (L-R: Jeffrey Hunter first played Captain Christopher Pike before Shatner replaced him)
Advice: Herb even helped Roddenberry with the show, convincing the creator to have Spock (Nimoy, pictured) keep his pointed ears but no longer have red skin and a pointed tail
Herb also previously claimed he was the one who came up with the idea of each episode featuring a stardate.
While working with Desilu Studios, Herb also developed several other series to be pitched by the company, including Mission: Impossible and Mannix.
He eventually departed the role and went on to work with MGM, where he helped get shows like Medical Center greenlit, before he joined NBC where he executive produced the show Man From Atlantis.
Herb is survived by his wife Dr. Harrison.
Helping hand: In the book These Are The Voyages, it was revealed Herb was one of two executives who firmly championed Star Trek, persuading Lucille it was not a financial risk