Stephen Joseph Cannell (February 5, 1941 – September 30, 2010) was an American television producer, writer, novelist and occasional actor who was also the founder of Stephen J. Cannell Productions.
Cannell has created or co-created nearly 40 television series, mostly crime dramas, including The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street, Silk Stalkings, and The Commish. In the process he had, by his own count, scripted more than 450 episodes, and produced or executive produced over 1,500 episodes.
Death of Stephen J. Cannell
Stephen J. Cannell died September 30, 2010, due to complications associated with melanoma.
Stephen J. Cannell (himself) on the logo
For many years, Cannell’s office was at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, though his shows (with the exception of Hunter and The Greatest American Hero) were almost always distributed by Universal Studios. The closing logo of his production company features him typing, before throwing the sheet from his typewriter whereupon it animates to become his company logo against a black screen (the one sheet of paper lands on a stack of paper forming a letter C) It was updated often, the main differences being Cannell’s clothes, sometimes new awards were in the background and (rarely) a new office for the live-action part. Early examples are also notable for Cannell smoking a pipe as he types.