James Schmerer, Writer on 'MacGyver,' 'CHiPs' and 'The High Chaparral,' Dies at 81
The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
He started his career with documentary producer David Wolper.
James Schmerer, a TV writer and producer with credits including MacGyver, CHiPs, The High Chaparral and Mannix, died Oct. 4 of stroke complications at his home in Eugene, Oregon, the WGA West announced. He was 81.
Schmerer produced 43 episodes of The High Chaparral, an NBC Western that starred Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell and aired from 1967-71, and wrote a couple as well.
The Queens native penned nine installments of CHiPs, six of MacGyver and three of Vegas and wrote for Medical Center, Mod Squad, Star Trek: The Animated Series, The Streets of San Francisco, The Rookies, Fantasy Island, The Six Million Dollar Man and Starsky and Hutch, among other series.
In the early 1960s, Schmerer worked as an editor on the syndicated Biography and as a producer on the NBC documentary series Hollywood and the Stars, both from iconic TV producer David Wolper.
Survivors include his daughter, Pamela, and her husband, Damon. A celebration of life is set for 3 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Eugene (contact email@example.com for more information). Donations in his name may be made to the Oregon Humane Society.
Born: 6/14/1938, Flushing, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 10/4/2019, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.
James Schmerer’s westerns – producer, writer, story consultant:
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1968 [producer, story consultant]
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1969 [producer, writer]