Jeffrey M. Hayes Dies: Exec Who Oversaw ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’, ‘MacGyver’ Was 68

Jeffrey M. Hayes, a longtime producer whose executive tenure at Paramount Pictures Network Television saw him overseeing the development of series including MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation, died March 9 in Los Angeles from an illness unrelated to Covid-19. He was 68.

His death was announced by Michelle Orsi of Three.Sixty Marketing & Communications.

Hayes’s career in producing, writing and directing began at Aaron Spelling Productions, where his projects included Vega$ and T.J. Hooker. From there, Hayes became Executive VP of Paramount Pictures Network Television.

In the late 1980s, Hayes moved to Australia’s Gold Coast to help build a production operation that would span over 25 years and produce over 300 hours of US/International television. As President of Village Roadshow Pictures Television he executive produced Sahara, In Pursuit of Honor, the remake of the television series Mission Impossible and The Thorn Birds – The Missing Years with The Wolper Organization.

In 2000, Hayes formed his own production company Coote/Hayes Productions and executive produced television features, series and miniseries including the classic remake of On The Beach, The Lost World series, Salem’s Lot, Starter Wife and Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, where he first met director-producer Brian Henson.

“Jeff was one of the loveliest people in the world, with an infectious laugh that could shut down a room,” said Henson. “Meeting Jeff on Battleground began a long friendship and working relationship that I treasured. He was an astute producer who could make tough decisions while remaining kind – a tough balancing act in this work. I will miss him dearly.”

Hayes received an AFI award for Best Miniseries for On The Beach, the VFX Emmy award for Stephen King’s Battleground and the NAACP award for Best TV Movie Trip To Bountiful.

Hayes is survived by his wife and business partner Lisa Hayes, children Christopher and Jacqueline and siblings Chip, Cathy and Cindy.

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