DEATHS6/04/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Al Simon, the man who helped create situation comedies in the early days of television, died late last month, in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 88.
Simon got his start in television in 1946 working on live programs in Hollywood, but his career took off after he joined Truth or Consequences as a writer. When the show went from radio to television, Simon was able to borrow a technique from the film industry-shooting with three cameras and two audio tracks-that allowed rebroadcasting in a quality equal to that of live television. Truth or Consequences became the first program to be filmed regularly before a live audience. Simon was later asked by Desi Arnaz to use the same technique for I Love Lucy. Later, when he became president of Filmways Productions, he worked on such 1960s sitcoms as The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and Mr. Ed.
Simon leaves his wife, Caro Jones Simon; a son, David; and a granddaughter.