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Jamie Tarses, trailblazing TV executive, dead at 56

She was 56.

Tarses turned president of ABC Leisure in 1996, following a profitable run as a comedy improvement government at NBC, the place she participated within the launch of “Associates,” “Frasier” and different in style sitcoms throughout the community’s “Should-See TV” heyday.

At ABC, she ran right into a political minefield — the community had just lately been acquired by Disney — and left the job after three years.

Solely 32 when she was recruited by then-Disney government Michael Ovitz in a transfer that angered executives at NBC, Tarses obtained inordinate media consideration, together with a New York Occasions journal profile during which she stunned her bosses by permitting the reporter, Lynn Hirschberg, to unknowingly pay attention to her calls with them.

When she left ABC following one other administration shift in 1999, Tarses sounded relieved to be transferring on, telling the Los Angeles Occasions concerning the fixed hypothesis and rumors about behind-the-scenes friction, “I simply do not need to play anymore. The work is a blast. The remainder of this nonsense I do not want.”

Since then, Tarses had been lively as a producer, serving as an government producer on the collection “Primeval,” “My Boys” and “Joyful Endings.”

Tarses got here from a show-business household. Her father is veteran TV producer Jay Tarses, who created such reveals as “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.” Her brother, Matt, can also be a writer-producer.

After graduating from Williams Faculty, she turned an assistant casting government on “Saturday Evening Reside” earlier than becoming a member of Lorimar Tv. The legendary NBC government Brandon Tartikoff employed her in 1987, and he or she labored her approach up by numerous inventive positions to supervise comedy improvement.

The community government performed by Amanda Peet in “Studio 60 on the Sundown Strip,” a short-lived 2006 NBC collection from writer-producer Aaron Sorkin, was loosely modeled on Tarses, who served as a guide.

In an announcement, 20th Tv president Karey Burke mentioned, “Jamie was a trailblazer within the truest sense of the phrase. She shattered stereotypes and concepts about what a feminine government might obtain, and paved the way in which for others, at a price to herself. She was a mentor and buddy, and many people owe a lot to her.”

“Jamie’s inventive genius sparked culture-defining reveals which have spanned many years. She gave an early voice to among the trade’s most prolific storytellers, and boldly led ABC at a time when the trade noticed only a few girls in management roles,” Dana Walden, Chairman of Leisure, Walt Disney Tv, mentioned in an announcement. “She can be remembered as a mentor and function mannequin for a lot of, together with myself, and an inspiration to the complete inventive neighborhood for generations to come back. Our hearts exit to her household throughout this troublesome time and we honor her legacy.”

Tarses was concerned in numerous charitable organizations, together with Younger Storytellers, which reaches out to youths by selling the ability of storytelling. Survivors embody her companion, Paddy Aubrey, and their two kids.

CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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