Fred Silverman

Broadcast History
Episode Guide
Express To Terror
And A Cup Of Kindness, Too
The Queen And The Improbable Knight
Hail To The Chief
A Very Formal Heist
The Green Girl
Where Have You Been Billy Boy
Unproduced Episodes
Lost Episodes
Creative Team
Route Map
Building Supertrain
Grand Central Set
In Action
NBC in 1979
Fred Silverman
Side Tracked
Home Video
TV Guide Review
NBC Publicity
Publicity Stills Collection
Super Stuff
About The Author
Sources and Links

The King of '70s Network TV

Any discussion of network television in the 1970s, must include the name Fred Silverman.  Mr. Silverman oversaw the schedules of all three major networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC) at one time or another throughout the decade.  Silverman is often the credited with CBS' early '70s success with shows like "All in the Family," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour."  Next, Silverman was the man at ABC with hits like "Charlie's Angels," "Happy Days," and "The Love Boat."  In 1978, NBC brought Mr. Silverman in to run their network.
The credits linked to Fred Silverman from his days at NBC, don't have the same luster as those from his CBS and ABC days.  In general, I think historians have not always presented the most accurate picture of The Silverman Era at NBC in the late '70s and early 1980s. 
The NBC that Fred Silverman inherited in '78 was a network that had been on a long downward spiral since the late 1960s.  Mr. Silverman's task was not just attempting to make NBC the top-rated network, he was essentially rebuilding the National Broadcasting Company.  From dismissing the red-and-blue "N" and returning the famous peacock, to bringing in new talent both behind the scenes on the tube, Silverman faced a monumental task at NBC.
Among the shows often laid at Silverman's feet, "Supertrain" is usually right out in front of the pack that included "Pink Lady," "Sheriff Lobo" and others.  What is important to note, "Supertrain" was already commissioned and going into early production, when Fred Silverman took control of NBC in the summer of 1978.  "Supertrain" is not Silverman's folly.  Silverman moved the premiere of "Supertrain" up to mid-season 1978-79, from its originally planned fall '79 debut, but the show was not his idea.
You may click on the above image of Mr. Silverman and view a You Tube video from The Archive of American Television.  The complete interview is a 13-part set.  I've linked to the 9th chapter that includes the NBC period of Silverman's career and his comments regarding "Supertrain."  The "Supertrain" comments happen twenty mintues into the segment.