Wow! I am really fascinated by Merv Adelson, the man behind “Dallas” and “Knots Landing,” and who was briefly the husband of Barbara Walters. In the new Vanity Fair, Bryan Burrough writes a cool piece about Adelson, who now lives in a 500 square foot apartment in Santa Monica. He used to be the King of TV. Adelson created Lorimar Pictures, which produced those aforementioned shows and “Falcon Crest.” They also produced Valerie Harper’s ill fated sitcom, fired her, and lost a major lawsuit she filed against them.
Adelson sold the company to Warner Communications, Burrough says, for $1.2 billion in stock. When Warner became Time Warner and then AOL Time Warner, Adelson saw his stock plunge from $58 a share to $7 a share. He lost $141 million, and wound up with nothing. On top of that, there were also persistent rumors about his Mob ties. Those rumors helped end his short marriage to Barbara Walters, who was embarrassed about Merv flying mobsters to Rancho La Costa Spa in Arizona on his private plane. You can read about it at here.