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Ian Sander, who with his wife Kim Moses executive produced the popular drama series Ghost Whisperer and Profiler, died Tuesday at home after suffering a heart attack. He was 68.
The couple, who married in 1994, signed a first-look deal with NBCUniversal International Television in December, and their Sander/Moses Productions has a drama pilot in contention at ABC. Spark, a genre soap that centers on the battle for power between two rival families and a rebellious young woman, is set in an alternate history where gas and coal fuel the world.
CBS’ Ghost Whisperer, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, ran for five seasons from 2005-10. A big hit for the network on Friday nights, it played in syndication in more than 150 countries.
Sander and Moses authored a companion book, Ghost Whisperer Spirit Guide, and created Ghost Whisperer: The Other Side, a corresponding web series from a ghost’s point of view. They also organized a convention for paranormal-fanatic bloggers to help generate buzz. (A 2011 article in Forbes crowned them “Buzz Builders.”)
Sander also produced the Dennis Quaid-starring films D.O.A. and Everybody’s All American, both released in 1988, and taught at USC.
A native of New York and the son of an insurance salesman, Sander graduated from the University of South California and attended Loyola Law School before launching a career as an actor. He appeared in the 1970 film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, in the 1971 Broadway play No Place to Be Somebody and on such TV series as The Mod Squad, Medical Center and The Rockford Files.
He segued into producing and received three Emmy nominations for his work on the 1990s NBC telefilm/drama series I’ll Fly Away, starring Sam Waterston and Regina Taylor.
Sander also directed several episodes of I’ll Fly Away, Profiler — which ran for four seasons on NBC — and CBS’ short-lived Reckless, a cops-and-lawyers drama that he and his wife executive produced as well.
The duo also were behind Slam 360, a marketing agency that helps producers use the internet to attract viewers. And in 2015, they executive produced an original 20-minute film for the Marriott hotel chain called French Kiss, shot entirely in Paris.
Survivors also include children Aaron and Declan.
A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday at Valley Beth Shalom at 15739 Ventura Blvd. in Encino.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to a scholarship fund set up in Sander’s name at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Please click on “Customize Gift” and select “The Ian Sander Scholarship Fund.”
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