PASSINGS: Alan Kirschenbaum

Alan Kirschenbaum, 51, a television producer and comedy writer who worked on such shows as “Raising Hope,” “My Name is Earl” and “Yes, Dear,” which he co-created, was found dead Friday at his Burbank home.

Early reports indicate he may have committed suicide, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. No other details were released. An autopsy is pending.

CBS, where Kirschenbaum had a new show in production, said in a statement it was “stunned and devastated” by his death and called him “a gifted and successful” comedy writer and producer.

The son of Borscht Belt comic Freddie Roman, Kirschenbaum entered the television business in the late 1980s. His first major success was writing for the NBC sitcom “Dear John,” which starred Judd Hirsch as a divorced dad. It was broadcast from 1988 to 1992.


With writer Greg Garcia he later created “Yes, Dear,” a comedy about two couples with radically different parenting styles. Despite critics’ predictions that it would be a flop, it became the second-highest-rated new network comedy when it debuted on CBS in 2000. It ran for six seasons.

Known as a first-rate show runner, Kirschenbaum served as executive producer on the shows “Stark Raving Mad” and “Center of the Universe.” He directed episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond” and was the head writer for “Coach” for three seasons. He was also a consulting producer on “Raising Hope” and wrote several episodes.

His most recent project was a comedy in production at CBS called “Friend Me” about a social media start-up. He was co-creator and executive producer.

Born in New York on April 19, 1961, Kirschenbaum grew up among Catskills comics who were friends of his father. However, he did not initially consider following his father into the entertainment business. He earned a degree in marketing at the University of Pennsylvania and struggled for three years as a racehorse trainer at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

When he found it too difficult to make a living in harness racing, he tried writing spec scripts, which led him to Hollywood in 1988. After experiencing some success, he resumed his passion for harness racing and owned a number of horses.

He was married to actress Vicki Juditz, with whom he had a daughter, Molly.

Times staff reports