Russell Kagan was an American television executive.
Kagan was considered a pioneer in the international television distribution business who helped introduce international co-productions.
Kagan’s career started with Alfred Haber Distribution where he learned the international TV distribution business. He went on to form his own company, International Program Consultants. Through IPC, Kagan helped package one of Discovery Channel’s first international co-productions, Beyond 2000, which also led to the series, Beyond Tomorrow, that aired on Fox television in the network’s early days.
On behalf of filmmaker Peter Gimbel, Kagan packaged the globally syndicated live event special, Andrea Doria: The Final Chapter, which revealed the contents of the long-lost sunken ship. For producer Tom Lynch, MGM Television and K-tel Records, Kagan packaged the successful youth-oriented performance show, Kids Incorporated.
While working at Kinnevik Media Ventures (based in Sweden), Kagan helped launch the first commercial television stations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltics. He then transitioned to producing and packaging major TV miniseries and international co-productions including The Bible. The $120 million production, which aired on History Channel in the US in 2013, was comprised of 10 miniseries.
Other programs produced by Kagan included Discovery Channel’s Great Wall of Iron, CBS’s Nicholas’ Gift, TNT's miniseries Caesar, and CBS’s highly rated 1999 Jesus miniseries, starring Jeremy Sisto, which was nominated for an Outstanding Miniseries Emmy Award.
Kagan died March 27, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. He was 65.