Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kenneth Ewing 1927-2008

Kenneth Ewing, a leading agent with Fraser & Dunlop (later Peters, Fraser & Dunlop), died on 14 April at the age of 81. There's an obituary in The Times.
By the mid-1960s many of his clients were providing the bedrock of ITV comedy and drama. Vince Powell and Harry Driver, Roy Bottomley and Tom Brennand were the men behind such huge (and in retrospect less than politically correct) situation comedy hits as Bless This House, Love Thy Neighbour and Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width, while other clients, Peter Eckersley and John Finch, were members of the powerful Group North writing team that provided Granada Television with some its most enduring drama series, including Finch’s A Family at War and Sam.

The torrent of situation comedy classics continued into the 1970s with another Ewing-nurtured team, Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke, whose many series for Thames Television included Man About the House, George and Mildred and Robin’s Nest — series that dominated the British ratings for a decade. And Ewing was instrumental in negotiations to make American versions of all three series — if not the first, certainly the biggest “format” deal of its kind and a coup that made a substantial contribution towards Thames Television’s Queen’s Award for Export.

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