Television royalty lost one its finest on Friday with the death of legendary producer Glen A. Larson after a long battle with esophageal cancer. If you grew up in the late '70s and '80s and at any time plopped down in front of the living room TV set, chances are you were hooked on one of Larson's parade of hit science fiction adventure series. From Knight Rider, Automan, Manimal and Battlestar Galactica to The Six Million Dollar Man and Buck Rogers of the 25th Century, Larson's production company served up appetizing, and sometimes derivative, genre fare to a rabid home audience weaned on the imaginative sensations of Star Wars, Tron and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
His obvious love of science fiction brought us KITT the talking Trans Am; Adama, Starbuck and Apollo; and Col. Steve Austin, invigorating prime-time television with riveting action and colorful futuristic scenarios beamed into our houses every week. Besides his beloved sci-fi shows, Larson also produced dramas, mysteries and crime shows like Magnum P.I., Quincy, M.E., The Fall Guy, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Cover-Up, B.J. and the Bear and The Highwayman, making superstars out of actors such as David Hasselhoff, Lee Majors and Tom Selleck.
Larson's prolific, 45-year career was an inspiration and an influence to a new generation of writers and producers, including Ronald D. Moore, whose own Battlestar Galactica reboot in 2004 revitalized the genre and became a cult favorite during its celebrated four-season run. Moore posted his personal remembrance on Twitter, saying: "Goodbye Glen Larson and thank you for creating one of the shows from my childhood that changed my life. May you find your own 13th Colony."
His creative legacy will live on in several small-screen and big-screen reboots in development, like the recently announced Mark Wahlberg project to star in The Six Billion Dollar Man and Will Ferrell's attachment to a new live-action/animated hybrid version of Larson's Manimal. Larson is survived by his wife Jeannie, brother Kenneth and nine children from various marriages.
Which of Larson's long list of television programs best summarizes his contribution to pop culture?