A former network executive who turned producer, Leonard F Hill has executive produced more than three dozen TV longforms and a handful of series since he became an independent producer in 1980. Although few of Hill's projects have been touted by the press as "prestige", his works have been well-produced entertainment fare and some of them have been standards of the genre, such as the biographical film "Mae West" (ABC, 1982), starring Ann Jillian, and the miniseries "The Long Hot Summer" (NBC, 1985), which earned Hill an Emmy nomination.
In the early 80s, Hill was partnered with the late Phil Mandelker, a former network executive and the creator of the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard". Since 1993, Hill has been partnered with Joel Fields, who began with the company as an associate producer, in Hill/Fields Entertainment. A graduate a Yale with a masters in education and history from Stanford, Hill hit Hollywood in the early 70s, writing scripts for series such as "Adam 12" and working as a development executive for such companies as Universal and MTM. By 1976, he had joined ABC as vice president of TV movies, supervising such applauded efforts as "The Jericho Mile" and "Amber Waves". Hill joined with Mandelker and went independent in 1980. Their first production was "Freedom" (1981), an ABC telefeature starring Mare Winningham as a young woman whose family was involved with carnivals, but who now finds herself on her own. "Having It All" (ABC, 1982) was a frothier effort about a woman (Dyan Cannon) who has relationships with men on both coasts. They also produced the short-lived CBS series "Tucker's Witch" (1982). After Mandelker's death, Hill worked solo or in tandem with project-by-project partners on such efforts as "Frank Nitti: The Enforcer" (ABC, 1988) and the two-part miniseries on "Jack the Ripper" (CBS, 1988). He received a warm response to his "Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story" (NBC, 1992), about an African-American youth torn between his prep school life and the street world he left behind.
As early as 1987, Hill was partnered with Joel Fields on "In Self Defense" (ABC) and by 1993, the pair had formed their company. Their first effort was "A Matter of Justice" (NBC, 1993), with Patty Duke as a mother set on proving her trollop daughter-in-law had arranged the murder of Duke's Marine son. More recently, they produced "Detention: Siege at Johnson High" (ABC, 1997), in which Rick Schroder played a disturbed young man who holds the students of a high school as hostages.