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Miller-Boyett Productions (or simply Miller-Boyett) is an American television production company that mainly developed television sitcoms from the 1970s through the 1990s. It was responsible for family-oriented hit series such as Bosom Buddies, Happy Days, Full House, Perfect Strangers, Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, Family Matters and Step by Step.
|Thomas L. Miller|
Edward K. Milkis
Robert L. Boyett
Michael Warren (associate 1991–1997; joined 1997–1999)
The company traces its roots back to Miller-Milkis Productions, which was formed in 1969. Its original run as a production company remained uninterrupted until its initial shutdown in 1999, having changed from the longtime Miller-Boyett name to Miller-Boyett-Warren two years prior. In 2015, the company was resurrected under the former Miller-Boyett name.
The production company was founded in 1969 by program executive Thomas L. Miller and former film editor Edward K. Milkis as Miller-Milkis Productions, and, in 1979, became Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions once Robert L. Boyett (who was a creative consultant of Happy Days at the time) joined the company, before adopting the Miller-Boyett name five years later following Milkis' resignation.
Most of the series the company produced for ABC during the Miller-Boyett era aired on the network's Friday night lineup (known as TGIF from 1989 to 2000). During the 1990–91 season, all four Friday comedies on ABC were Miller-Boyett series: Perfect Strangers, Full House, Family Matters and the short-lived Going Places; and the company had six sitcoms on the air during that same season, along with The Hogan Family (which had moved to CBS, after a five-season run on NBC) and the short-lived The Family Man. Around 1997, Michael Warren, longtime Miller-Boyett associate and co-creator of Family Matters and Step by Step, broke his partnership with producer partner William Bickley after twenty-one years and joined Miller-Boyett Productions; the company was renamed Miller-Boyett-Warren Productions and produced their last shows, Meego and Two of a Kind. After both shows were cancelled, the company was shut down.
Originally, the company was set up at Paramount Television. After Milkis left the company, Miller and Boyett left Paramount to work for Lorimar Television, which was folded into Warner Bros. Television in 1993. Despite the fact that the company shut down as Miller-Boyett-Warren Productions, it was, and still is, referred to as "Miller-Boyett Productions" (or just simply "Miller-Boyett").
In 2013, Boyett returned to TV producing under his own production nameplate, Robert L. Boyett Productions. With veteran producer Robert Horn, he co-created the FX sitcom Partners, which was co-produced by his company, along with Robert Horn Productions, Grammnet Productions and Debmar-Mercury, among other contributors. Robert L. Boyett Productions alone was originally said to be in development with Jeff Franklin Productions for the upcoming 2016 Full House sequel series, Fuller House. However, when a front cover image of the first Fuller House shooting script was made public in late July 2015, both Miller and Boyett were listed as executive producers on the script, with Miller-Boyett Productions being listed at the bottom of the cover page—thus confirming that the production company has been effectively resurrected.
Production team membersEdit
- Thomas Lee Miller (August 31, 1940 – April 5, 2020 (aged 79)) – After growing up in Milwaukee, he started his career as assistant to director Billy Wilder. Miller also previously served as a development executive at Paramount and 20th Century Fox. In 1970, a year after starting the company with Edward K. Milkis, he co-created Nanny and the Professor with the late producer AJ Carothers. Prior to then, he was a writer of The Year of the Horse in 1966, and in 1969 he was in charge of development for The Immortal and did the same job in the 1970s for Weekend of Terror and Assault on the Wayne. He later wrote episodes for Nanny and the Professor and Me and the Chimp and co-created that show with Garry Marshall. Miller co-produced the feature films Silver Streak (1976) and Foul Play (1978) with Edward Milkis.
- Robert Lee Boyett (born 1942 (age 78–79)) – He grew up in Atlanta, and later on moved to New York City to become a development executive at ABC, then later became senior vice president at Paramount Television. He later became a creative consultant to Happy Days on its mid-seasons before joining Miller and Milkis in 1978. Boyett however was not credited as an executive producer with Tom Miller and Ed Milkis on most series in the Miller/Milkis/Boyett era. Following the dissolution of the Miller-Boyett-Warren company, Boyett became a producer for Broadway theatre productions. He currently resides in Salisbury, Connecticut.
- Edward Kenneth "Eddie" Milkis (July 16, 1931 – December 14, 1996 (aged 65)) – A lifelong resident of Los Angeles, California, he became a film editor on such movies as North by Northwest. Next he signed on as the associate producer of Star Trek. Later on, he was involved in some of Tom Miller's early shows prior to the establishment of Miller-Boyett. He died on Saturday, December 14, 1996, at the age of 65, after a lengthy illness. His last production was Exit to Eden, which he produced alongside Garry Marshall.
- Michael Warren started his career as the associate producer of The Partridge Family, where he met writer/Producer William S. Bickley. Then as an associate producer on Happy Days for its second season, later a story consultant with William Bickley, who was then a story editor. The two men produced Out of the Blue in 1979. Warren and Bickley later wrote for Happy Days and Perfect Strangers, before creating Family Matters, Getting By and Step by Step between 1989 and 1993, at that point Bickley and Warren became squarely producers instead of producer/writers, before officially ending their partnership around the time of the cancellation of Family Matters and Step by Step and joining the Miller-Boyett team.
Associates to Miller, Boyett, Milkis and WarrenEdit
- Garry Marshall (Henderson Productions) (1974–1984, most series produced through the end of the Miller-Milkis-Boyett era)
- Robert Stigwood (The Stigwood Group, Ltd.) (1979, Makin' It)
- Hal Sitowitz (Myrt-Hal Productions) (1981, Foul Play)
- William Bickley & Michael Warren (1984–1998; Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, The Family Man, Step By Step, Getting By)
- Tal Productions, Inc. (1986–1987; Valerie)
- Robert Griffard & Howard Adler (1987–1999; Perfect Strangers, Going Places, Step By Step, Two of a Kind)
- David W. Duclon (1990–1998; Family Matters, On Our Own)
- Catalina Television (1990–1991; The Family Man)
- Suzanne de Passe (de Passe Entertainment) (1994–1995; On Our Own)
Collaborators with Miller, Boyett, Milkis and WarrenEdit
List of shows produced by either production teamEdit
- Angie (1979–1980; produced by Miller-Milkis, early 1979; produced by Miller-Milkis-Boyett, 1979–1980)
- Blansky's Beauties (1977)
- Happy Days (1974–1984; produced by Miller-Milkis, 1974–1981; produced by Miller-Milkis-Boyett, 1981–1984)
- Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983; produced by Miller-Milkis, 1976–1981; produced by Miller-Milkis-Boyett, 1981–1983)
- Makin' It (1979)
- Mork & Mindy (1978–1982; produced by Miller-Milkis, 1978–1981; produced by Miller-Milkis-Boyett, 1981–1982)
- Out of the Blue (1979)
- Petrocelli (1974–1976)
- $weepstake$ (1979)
- Walkin' Walter (1977, rejected sitcom pilot starring Sam "Spo-Dee-O-Dee" Theard and Madge Sinclair)
- The Heist (1972)
- Night of Terror (1972)
- The Weekend Nun (1972)
- The Devil's Daughter (1973)
- Egan (1973, two-hour movie pilot for a proposed police drama starring Eugene Roche)
Theatrically released filmsEdit
- Bosom Buddies (1980–1982)
- Goodtime Girls (1980; first series with Miller-Milkis-Boyett production team)
- Foul Play (1981; adaptation of Miller-Milkis' 1978 theatrical film)
- Joanie Loves Chachi (1982–1983)
- Little Darlings (1982, made-for-TV version of Stephen J. Friedman's 1980 theatrical film)
Theatrically released filmsEdit
- The Family Man (1990–1991)
- Family Matters (1989–1998)
- Full House (1987–1995; produced in association with Jeff Franklin Productions)
- Fuller House (2016–2020; produced in association with Jeff Franklin Productions)
- Getting By (1993–1994)
- Girls Across The Lake (rejected 1997 pilot for The WB starring Cindy Williams, Steve Witting and Maggie Lawson)
- Going Places (1990–1991)
- The Hogan Family (1986–1991, originally titled Valerie and then Valerie's Family; first series with Miller-Boyett production team)
- On Our Own (1994–1995)
- Perfect Strangers (1986–1993)
- Step by Step (1991–1998)
- Meego (1997; first series with Miller/Boyett/Warren production team)
- Two of a Kind (1998–1999; last series produced by the company before the initial 1999 shut-down)
Robert L. Boyett ProductionsEdit
- Partners (2014)
- "Candace Cameron Bure Reveals Revamped 'Fuller House' Plot". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved March 1, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- ABC's Formidable Fridays, Entertainment Weekly, March 29, 1991.
- The Revenge of Successful Sitcoms : The TV shows of Tom Miller and Bob Boyett are often maligned by critics, but their rewards are in the ratings, Los Angeles Times, January 14, 1990.