About the Creators of "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams"
Above: Series stars Denver Pyle and Dan Haggerty, Creator/Producer Charles E. Sellier, TV Guide cover
In 1974, Schick Sunn Classic Pictures and Producer, Charles Sellier premiered the new feature film, 'The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.' The movie was based on a historical fiction novel authored by Sellier. The success of the film delivered both Sellier and Schick Sunn Classic to prominence. So much so, by the end of the decade 'Sunn' had earned the distinction of delivering more top-fifty grossing movies than any other independent production company, with Sellier as its lead creative producer. In 1982 when Variety listed their "Champs among Bantam Weights," Schick Sunn Classic’s name appeared the most. Included in Variety's top fifty independent films were nine of its productions: “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” “In Search of Noah's Ark,” “Beyond and Back,” “Chariots of the Gods,” “The Lincoln Conspiracy,” “In Search of Historic Jesus,” “The Bermuda Triangle,” “Hangar 18,” and “Frontier Fremont.” A tenth movie soon appeared on that list: “The Boogens.”
In 1976 Sellier pitched his Grizzly Adams TV series concept to NBC and by January of 1977 it was on the air, featuring Dan Haggerty as the lead character of Adams, Denver Pyle as Mad Jack, and Don Shanks as Nakoma. The series broke ratings records for NBC and entertained television audiences into the 1980s.
Chuck Sellier's success did not stop there. After he was nominated for an Emmy as the Producer of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, NBC's programming chief, Paul Klein lauded him as "a brilliant and amazing innovator." Even Orson Welles remarked of Sellier how he was "light years ahead" when it came to understanding television programming.
By the mid-1980s NBC/Universal had put Sellier under contract to serve as its Supervising Producer for a series of successful MOW's, to include the popular Elmore Leonard 'Desperado' westerns saga, a mini-series starring Alex MacArthur and Executive Produced by Walter and Andrew Mirisch. One of these westerns garnered a 'National Cowboy Hall of Fame' award for Sellier, MacArthur, and Director E.W. Swackhamer. Soon after, Sellier formed his new companies, Desperado Films, Inc. and Sun International that included the Grizzly Adams® Brand's current owners as officers and share holders. For the next decade Sellier's Universal team made television movies (MOW's) around the country for the CBS, NBC and ABC networks. Among them were Knightrider 2000 starring David Hasselhoff, Vestige of Honor starring Gerald McRaney, and Brotherhood of the Gun starring James Remar and Brian Bloom.
After trademarking the Grizzly Adams brand, in 1993 Sellier formed Grizzly Adams® Productions through which he produced two trend setting specials for CBS; 'Ancient Secrets of the Bible' and the TV series 'Miracles and Other Wonders.' Both performed well in the ratings and CBS responded with a contract for an additional ten hours of prime-time shows. He also authored his final Grizzly Adams book in 1993, Grizzly Adams: The Siege of Treasure Mountain.
Into the 2000s Sellier was still writing and producing special interest and faith based titles for television and DVD markets, amassing a library of over 120 original program titles.
Always a passionate filmmaker throughout his illustrious career that spanned four decades, Sellier was also an avid United States history buff, who in 1977 co-authored the book, The Lincoln Conspiracy that earned him a Doctorate of Humane Letters.
A few years before his passing in 2011, Chuck Sellier produced his last film, 'Friends for Life' about a modern-day widower who adopts and raises orphaned wolf cubs. The touching film received numerous awards.