Veteran TV producer Jim Paratore dies at 58

New York: Veteran TV producer Jim Paratore, died on Tuesday of an apparent heart attack while on a cycling vacation in France. He was 58.

Paratore was the producer who championed Ellen DeGeneres’ transition to daytime television despite industry-wide scepticism that an openly gay host could carry the show.

“My friend, producer and champion Jim Paratore died today. He gave me a chance when no one else would. I love you, Jim,” a leading daily has quoted DeGeneres as tweeting.

As president of TelePictures Productions, Paratore later revolutionized the gossip news business, co-founding TMZ in 2006.

Before that, he was responsible for a number of high-profile hits that dominated America’s television hits.

Among his biggest successes, in addition to ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ was ‘Extra,’ ‘The People’s Court,’ ‘The Rosie O’Donnell Show’ and ‘The Bachelor’ franchise.

“He has left an indelible mark not only on our company’s success but on each of us who worked with him during the past 26 years,” Warner Bros. Television Group President Bruce Rosenblum said.

“Jim had a passion for life, both inside and outside the entertainment industry, and he will truly be missed,” he added.

He is survived by a wife and a daughter.