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TV producer, exec David Gerber dies

David Gerber, a seminal figure in American and international television for a half-century as a producer, studio executive, industry statesman and philanthropist, died Saturday at Los Angeles County-usc Medical Center. He was 86.

Gerber earned an Emmy (and six other Emmy noms), a Golden Globe, a Peabody award and a Christopher award -- not to mention honors from the American Film Institute, the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors and others -- by taking on serious, often controversial subjects.

He was a pioneer of multiracial programming and an industry innovator with such series as "Police Woman," "Batman," "Room 222," "thirtysomething," "In the Heat of the Night," "Medical Story" and dozens of TV movies, including his last longform effort, the critically acclaimed "Flight 93" in 2006.

His miniseries included "George Washington," winner of a Peabody award; "The Lindberg Kidnapping Case"; "Nothing Lasts Forever"; and "Beulah Land."

In 1974, Gerber produced "Police Woman," the first successful
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