Edward Hume Dies: ‘The Day After’ Writer, ‘Barnaby Jones’, ‘Streets Of San Francisco’ Creator Was 87

Edward Hume, a prolific TV writer who created or developed such 1970s episodic crime classics as The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon and Barnaby Jones, and was Emmy-nominated for the startlingly realistic, much-watched 1983 nuclear holocaust drama The Day After, has died. He was 87.

According to an obituary posted this week by his family, Hume died July 13. A cause was not stated.

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With his first TV credit coming in 1967 (an episode of The Fugitive), Hume would go on to develop such popular detective and cop fare as Toma (1973); Cannon, the 1971-76 series starring William Conrad; the 1972-77 series The Streets of San Francisco, starring Karl Malden and a young Michael Douglas; and Barnaby Jones, the 1973-80 series starring a post-Beverly Hillbillies Buddy Ebsen as an elderly private eye who comes out of retirement following the murder of his son.

‘The Day After’
‘The Day After’

While Hume would write many TV movies in the 1970s and ’80s, including The Terry Fox Story (1983) and John And Yoko: A Love Story (1985), by far his most celebrated was The Day After, a TV movie broadcast on ABC on Nov. 20, 1983, about nuclear war. The film because a cultural touchstone, drawing more than 100 million U.S. viewers.

Directed by Nicholas Meyer, The Day After starred Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams and John Lithgow as American survivors of a full-scale nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The film stunned audiences with graphic and, for the time, realistic special effects depicting multiple nuclear strikes. A grim ending introduced many viewers to the concept of nuclear winter.

The film earned Hume an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or a Special. The Day After was nominated for a total of 10 Emmys, winning two (for sound editing and special visual effects).

Hume is survived by children Chris, Brian and Erika; sisters Marian Tibbetts and Martha Lucuis; and other extended family.

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