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Michael Ogiens, a television producer and former programming executive at CBS and MTM Productions, has died. He was 69.
Ogiens, who co-created the 1990s TNT series The Lazarus Man, starring Robert Urich, died Thursday in his sleep in Los Angeles, his daughter Emma said.
Most recently, Ogiens developed and produced movies for the Hallmark Channel, including Hannah’s Law, All of My Heart, A Country Wedding and Love You Like Christmas. He was in preproduction on a sequel to All of My Heart at the time of his death.
In 1995, Ogiens was named president of MTM Productions and charged with leading efforts to revive the company founded by Grant Tinker and Mary Tyler Moore. Under his watch, MTM greenlighted series including The Pretender (NBC), Bailey Kipper’s P.O.V. (CBS) and Sparks (UPN).
A native of Los Angeles, Ogiens worked at CBS for 14 years.
As vp daytime programs, he was responsible for scheduling, affiliate relations, development and supervising production on programs including The Price Is Right and The Young and the Restless, After a promotion, Ogiens oversaw animation and live-action Saturday morning series as well as a slate of young people’s specials.
Moving into primetime as vp programs, he helped revitalize production of shows out of New York, and that yielded the sitcoms Kate & Allie, Charles in Charge and Foley Square.
Returning to L.A., Ogiens became vp comedy development, where his slate included My Sister Sam and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s Designing Women.
With former CBS colleague Josh Kane, Ogiens then co-founded the Ogiens/Kane Co., which developed The Lazarus Man and other projects like The Young Riders (ABC), Trenchcoat in Paradise (CBS), Into the Badlands (USA) and The Lot (AMC).
Ogiens was a board member and past president of the Friends of the Los Angeles Free Clinic (now known as the Saban Community Clinic), where he was instrumental in fundraising activities.
Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Renee, and another daughter, Kate. Donations in his memory can be made to the Saban Community Clinic.
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