Edward S. Masket, former exec VP of Universal Television Group and MCA Television Group, died March 4 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 88.
Masket led the division that developed shows such as “Magnum, P.I.,” “Miami Vice,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Northern Exposure,” “Quantum Leap,” “Simon and Simon,” “Columbo,” “The A Team,” “Knight Rider” and “Coach.”
He joined Universal Television Group/MCA in 1982 and served as exec VP until 1994. At that point he became a consultant to Universal Television and Paramount Television until 2000, developing new shows.
For five years beginning in 1951, Masket worked as an attorney for United Paramount Theaters.
From 1956-68, Masket was a VP with ABC Television in New York. He was hired by Columbia Pictures in 1968 and rose to exec VP at Screen Gems, Col’s TV division, where his department oversaw negotiations and production. In 1973, Screen Gems was renamed Columbia Pictures Television, and Masket transferred to Col’s studios in Burbank.
Born in Brooklyn, Masket graduated from Harvard Law School in 1949. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942-46. While in the military, he studied Japanese at the U. of Michigan and was a member of an elite counterintelligence unit.
He was a member of the Motion Pictures Pioneers and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Masket is survived by his three children; five granddaughters; a sister and his fiancee, Carol Krog.
Donations may be made to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation at Mhopus.org.