Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don Hewitt (1922-2009)

Legendary CBS News producer Don Hewitt, the creator of “60 Minutes,” died today. He was 86. CBS has posted an online obituary here.

I’ve been a huge “60 Minutes” fan for my whole adult life. The first opportunity I had to pitch an idea for my own TV series, back in 1998, I sold the concept of a Steven Bochco-type ensemble drama about a news show like “60 Minutes.” I imagined Alan Arkin as the Don Hewitt character.

He would’ve been the heart and soul of the thing.

Hewitt’s template for investigative broadcast journalism has been imitated around the world. Click here for a look at South Africa’s answer to “60 Minutes” – “Special Assignment.”

Don Hewitt has said that his show’s finest moment was the Lenell Geter story in 1984. The “60 Minutes” team got an innocent man out of prison (in the days before DNA testing). Check out a glimpse below. Remember that one? I sure do.

Lenell Geter is now a motivational speaker.


bklyn6 said...

I don't know the Lenell Geter story. I'm a sucker for wrongful conviction cases. I hope things turned out well for him.

R.I.P. Mr. Hewitt.

Dollar Bill said...

Responsible for many a STFU Sunday growing up at my house, but I did shut up and listen and continue to watch until The Simpson's became a scheduling conflict.

Ed Bradley passing away had more of a impact on me though, because of the connection to his passion for music.

Reviewer X said...

60 Minutes II and Hewitt's portrayal in The Insider were really sad, but 60 Minutes is a great legacy to leave behind.

I'm sure they will have a great sendoff for Hewitt on this Sunday's show.