Aaron Spelling poses for a photo in his Los Angeles office in this November 1993 file photo (AP Photo / Bob Galbraith)
For four decades, the name Aaron Spelling and television went hand in hand. He produced so many TV favorites – out of more than 200 series and specials in total – that we couldn't even begin to list them here. And even harder than listing them all would be choosing one favorite. How would we ever pick just one great Spelling show?
On what would have been his 89th birthday, we decided to make it a little easier on ourselves – we picked not one Aaron Spelling show, but one show from each decade,1960s to the 2000s. And you know what? It was still hard.
1960s: Though Spelling began his production career in the late '50s, he really started hitting his stride in the '60s. He brought us favorites like The Smothers Brothers Show, Honey West with Ann Francis, Lloyd Bridges' eponymous show, and the totally groovy cop drama The Mod Squad.
1970s: This decade presented a nearly impossible decision. Spelling was behind two of the absolute greatest cop shows of the '70s. We were so close to presenting a clip of Starsky & Hutch, but in the end, Charlie's Angels won out (thanks in large part to our love for Farrah Fawcett).
1980s: OK, we thought the '70s were hard? How to pick a best Aaron Spelling show from the '80s? Dynasty with the smooth John Forsythe is an obvious choice … or T.J. Hooker with William Shatner … or Hart to Hart with Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner. But then there's the incomparable Ricardo Montalban on Fantasy Island … which reminds us of that Spelling ‘80s classic, The Love Boat.
1990s: This decade brought us some fantastic Spelling shows, like Melrose Place and Sunset Beach, but the one obvious choice is the show that spanned the entire decade and absolutely represents the '90s for a generation … Beverly Hills, 90210.
2000s: Though Aaron Spelling died in 2006, he still produced some beloved shows in his last decade. We loved Charmed and Summerland … but we'll say a final goodbye to Aaron Spelling with a clip from 7th Heaven, Spelling's longest-running series.
Written by Linnea Crowther