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Rick Ludwin

  • Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Birthday: May 27
Date of passing: 
November 10, 2019

Obituary

Obituary: 

Rick Ludwin was an American television executive.

Ludwin graduated from Ohio’s Miami University with a degree in mass communications in 1970, and later earned a master’s degree at Northwestern University. He went on to write jokes for Bob Hope and work for television stations in Chicago and Detroit and then for The Mike Douglas Show.

Ludwin joined NBC in 1980 and spent 32 years there, ultimately achieving the rank of executive vice president of late night and specials programming, overseeing dozens of specials starring Hope, as well as The Tonight Show, Late Night, and Saturday Night Live.

Rick Ludwin was an American television executive.

Ludwin graduated from Ohio’s Miami University with a degree in mass communications in 1970, and later earned a master’s degree at Northwestern University. He went on to write jokes for Bob Hope and work for television stations in Chicago and Detroit and then for The Mike Douglas Show.

Ludwin joined NBC in 1980 and spent 32 years there, ultimately achieving the rank of executive vice president of late night and specials programming, overseeing dozens of specials starring Hope, as well as The Tonight Show, Late Night, and Saturday Night Live.

In 1989, Ludwin commissioned a pilot for NBC called The Seinfeld Chronicles. Although it tested poorly, Ludwin continued pushing for it, using funds from his specials budget to order four more episodes. Ludwin was forced to cancel plans for a Hope special to cover the costs of the sitcom’s first season. Over time, Seinfeld grew to become a smash hit for NBC and an anchor of its 1990s Thursday night comedy lineup.

Ludwin died November 10, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. He was 71.

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