Skip to main content

Kemp, Barry



  • Existence: 1949-


Born December 4, 1949, in Hannibal, Missouri, Barry Michael Kemp earned a B.A. degree in communication and theatre arts from the University of Iowa in 1971, where he first began writing plays. His career has since centered around television scriptwriting and production.   Kemp broke into the television situation comedy scene at Paramount in 1978. Initially a writer, he also became executive script consultant for the ABC hit series Taxi. Ten years of work on Taxi brought industry recognition of his talent with Writer's Guild of America award nominations in 1978 and 1979, and a 1980 Emmy award nomination for outstanding writing in a comedy series.   By 1982, Kemp was an executive producer for MTM Enterprises, penning the pilot for In Security and creating The New Bob Newhart Show -- later Newhart -- early in his tenure there. With Kemp at the helm as executive producer, Newhart was recognized with Emmy nominations in 1982 and 1983 for outstanding comedy series.   Kemp also shared writing credit and produced the 1986 soap opera and miniseries parody Fresno for MTM before moving on the Universal in 1987 to set up Bungalow 78 Productions. During this period along with a stint as producer of Coming of Age (1988), Kemp created and produced The Popcorn Kid (1987), Dad's A Dog (1990), Princesses (1991), and Delta (1991). One of his most successful television series was Coach, created by Kemp in 1989. It was a situation comedy about a divorced football coach in a small Midwestern college town.   Married in 1972, Kemp and his wife Maggie Kemp (also a UI graduate), co-sponsor the UI Playwrights Festival they initiated in 1986. In 1990, Kemp was the recipient of the UI Distinguished Alumni Award.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Barry Kemp Papers

Identifier: MsC0495

Television writer, producer. Consists of two series, scripts and video cassettes.

Dates: 1982-1997