Happy Birthday, Ed Spielman!

Herbie J Pilato
3 min readFeb 3, 2022

The Dynamic Creative Talent Behind “Kung Fu” and Many More of Hollywood’s Finest Productions

Happy Birthday to prolific writer/producer Ed Spielman, who is responsible for some of the most innovative television shows in the history of the medium. Synonymous with landmark TV programming, Spielman has created, written, and/or executive produced over 300 hours of prime-time entertainment with immediate recognition worldwide.

As the creator of the groundbreaking TV series Kung Fu (which debuted on ABC in 1972), Spielman, with his dear friend and colleague Howard Friedlander, composed a 90-minute pilot movie that went on to become America’s first martial arts film — one that ignited a worldwide martial arts boom. An Emmy award-winning Eastern Western and now contemporary classic, Kung Fu has been cited by Entertainment Weekly as “one of the 100 best television shows of all time.”

Spielman also created the Emmy award-winning series The Young Riders, which returned the Western to the prime-time TV (on ABC, 1989). The Young Riders pilot earned Spielman the coveted Western Heritage Award (which he has won four times) and, for his contribution, the prolific scribe was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame (an honor shared by such luminaries as John Wayne).

In a career that now spans several decades, Spielman’s creations have been seen internationally and produced by virtually every major motion picture studio and television network.

Another of his television series, Dead Man’s Gun(which debuted on Showtime in 1997, and which he produced in partnership with MGM Productions, Henry Winkler, Howard Spielman, and Sugar Entertainment, Ltd.) was nominated for three cable ACE Awards (including Best Dramatic Series) and received six LEO nominations.

--

--

Herbie J Pilato

Herbie J Pilato is a writer, producer, and TV personality whose books about life and pop culture include THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS.