Executive Producer & Creator Linda Sawyer
Linda Sawyer started her professional career as a production assistant for BBDO International, producing highlight reels of the award-winning ad campaigns to present to the worldwide BBDO creative partners. Linda then went to work at MTV founder Bob Pittman as his Executive Assistant. Together they traveled throughout the country as she penned Pittman’s speeches announcing to the multi-system operators the coming of a new media phenomenon…24 hour Music Television. And so it goes…I Want My MTV was born. It was the job of a lifetime serving as the liason between the cable channels’s department heads. Sawyer says: It was like getting a master’s degree in launching a cable network. She soon moved into production having line responsibility on many unique specials, most notably the MTV Awards show in conjunction with Don Ohlmeyer productions.
After her tenure at MTV, she went to work for Geraldo as a senior field producer on his new start up news magazine show, “Now It Can Be Told” re-visiting old news stories advancing them with a new piece of uncovered information. After the show was canceled, she worked for Robin Leach’s new syndicated show “First Look at the New” as a senior producer. After the birth of her twins, freelancing seemed like a better route to juggle the time constraints of motherhood. Sawyer worked for many prominent media outlets such as ABC’s Primetime Live, 20/20, and 48 Hours. Sawyer also worked for Maury Povich as his field reporter/producer where she found herself competing and scooping the other national media for headline-grabbing interviews with: Ellie Nesler, Tanya Harding, and the Swiss Nanny Olivia Riner, accused and charged with burning the baby in her care. These stories eventually became fodder for movies, and often Hollywood would call and solicit Sawyer’s aid to secure rights to their notorious life stories.
This led Sawyer to her stint at HBO as a Senior Producer of the “First Look” series. Her news background shaped the format of the show in a more docu-drama direction by profiling the real people the movies were based on. The network execs took notice that Sawyer’s installments and treatment of the series was often securing higher ratings than the film it was marketing. Soon she was offered a development job with HBO Pictures in Los Angeles. But at the time, Sawyer chose not to uproot her seven year old twins, unable to tear them away from their friends and horses.
Sawyer ultimately opened her own production company where she continued to produce HBO First Look specials, HBO’s Instyle TV (Based on Instyle Magazine), PBS documentaries (local emmy), VH1 Flix specials, and EPK’s for the film studios.