Cy Chermak, ‘CHiPs’ and ‘Ironside’ Producer, Dies at 91

Antonio Ferme
·2-min read

TV producer and writer Cy Chermak, who produced notable series including “CHiPs,” “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” and “Ironside,” died Friday of natural causes in Oahu, Hawaii. He was 91.

Chermak was born in 1929 in Bayonne, New Jersey as Seymour Albert Chermak. He began his career in Hollywood at the age of 17, going on to become a successful television producer on series like “Conway,” “The Virginian” and “The Bold Ones: The New Doctors.”

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Chermak served as an executive producer on the drama series “Ironside” from 1967-1974, where he received three Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. Some of his other producing credits include “Amy Prentiss,” “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” “Barbary Coast” and “Murder at the World Series.” Most notably, he produced 125 episodes of the buddy crime action series “CHiPs,” which starred Robert Pine and Erik Estrada as two motorcycle officers of the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

In the early 1950s, Chermak was a head writer on “Rocky King, Detective,” contributing to 236 episodes from 1950-1954. Some of his other writing credits include “Rescue 8,” The Dakotas” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” He also had a handful of small television roles in shows such as “The Goldbergs” and the anthology drama series “Studio One in Hollywood.” He also wrote the screenplay for the 1959 sci-fi film “4D Man.”

Later in life, Chermak went on to write a book titled “The Show Runner: An Insider’s Guide to Successful TV Production,” where he shared some of his real-life experiences and lessons learned. In addition to his three Emmy nominations, he garnered several Writers Guild nominations and other awards recognizing his contributions to the arts and society.

Chermak is survived by his daughters, Rabbi Malka Drucker, Pam Treibe and Bonnie Chermak; five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife, TV writer Francine Carroll, his parents Doris and Albert Chermak and his sister Edith Weber.

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