Fred Silverman (born September 13, 1937 in New York City) is an American television executive and producer. He worked as an executive at the CBS, ABC and NBC networks, and was responsible for bringing to television such programs as the series Scooby-Doo (1969-present), All in the Family (1971-1979), The Waltons (1972-1981), and Charlie's Angels (1976-1981), as well as the miniseries Roots (1977) and Shōgun (1980). He also oversaw the abolition of wiping (the destruction and recycling of old television shows to reuse the tape for new ones) and provided outlets for much of the content produced by Hanna-Barbera and Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions.
Silverman graduated from Syracuse University, where he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, and then earned a Master's degree from the Ohio State University. He went to work for WGN-TV in Chicago, Illinois, overseeing children's programming, as well as at WPIX in New York City. His masters thesis analyzed ten years of ABC programming and was so good it got him hired as an executive at CBS at the age of 25 in 1963. There, he took over responsibility for all daytime network programming and later, took charge of all of entertainment programming, day and night. Silverman married his assistant, Cathy Kihn, and they had a daughter, Melissa, and son, William.
In 1970, Silverman was promoted from vice-president of program planning and development to head the entire program department at CBS. Silverman was the chief architect of the "rural purge" of 1971, which eventually eliminated many popular country-oriented shows, such as Green Acres, Mayberry R.F.D., Hee Haw and The Beverly Hillbillies from the CBS schedule. In their place, however, came a new wave of classics aimed at the upscale baby boomer generation, such as All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, M*A*S*H, The Waltons, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, Kojak and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.