Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner, Caryn Mandabach

Founders of Carsey-Werner-Mandabach prod'n co.

It is only fitting that an indie producer-distributor should be one of the recipients of the first Legacy Award: That’s because Brandon Tartikoff shared this honoree’s focus on groundbreaking primetime shows and because NATPE is dedicated to enhancing opportunities for indie players. Carsey-Werner-Mandabach fits the bill on both counts.

As the only non-aligned player left in primetime TV, it has to be nimbler on its feet than the goliaths that surround it.

Like Tartikoff, C-W-M’s founders say their mantra is, first and foremost, “Respect the audience.”

The three principals are the creative team behind “The Cosby Show” and “Roseanne” in the ’80s and “Third Rock From the Sun” in the ’90s; of late the trio has plunged back into primetime with “That ’70s Show,” “Grounded for Life” and “Whoopi.”

“Brandon and I grew up in TV together, and we shared a passion for the medium,” Werner recalls, emphasizing “the joy it was” working with him on “Cosby.”

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