About Sam Haskell


Sam Haskell, III

Emmy nominated producer Sam Haskell, III was named in 2007 by Television Week Magazine “One of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television of the Last 25 Years,” an honor he shared with Ted Turner, Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Walter Cronkite and other television legends. Haskell earned his ranking among the industry’s best through his 27-year career at the renowned William Morris Agency where he was one of the most powerful agents and dealmakers in the business.

At William Morris Haskell oversaw the “packaging” of all agency represented network projects, including such mega-hits as ” Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Sisters,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Lost,” “Murphy Brown,” and “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee,” among many others.

Since 2012, Sam has run Magnolia Hill Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television in Los Angeles, CA. With his partner Dolly Parton, they produced two television movies for NBC. The first, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors”, eclipsed over 16 million live viewers making it the most viewed original television movie among the Big Four Networks in six years. Moreover, it has received overwhelming critical acclaim and has gone on to win the Movieguide Templeton Foundation Epiphany Prize, The Christopher Award, and the Academy of Country Music Tex Ritter Award. The second film, “Dolly Parton’s Christmas Of Many Colors – Circle of Love”, was the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster Coat of Many Colors, which aired November 30th on NBC, again ranking #1 in all key demos and delivering 14.5 million live viewers. It has also won the Movieguide Epiphany prize, the Christopher Award, the Family Film Award, and was nominated for Best Television Movie at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards. More recently, Sam has produced multiple projects for Netflix including “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings,” an anthology series of eight movies based on the songs and life stories of his dear friend Dolly Parton. The “Heartstrings” episode, “These Old Bones,” has won the Movieguide Faith & Freedom Award for TV, as well as a Christopher Award. The “Heartstrings” episode, “Two Doors Down,” is nominated for Best Individual Episode at the 2020 GLAAD Awards. Moreover, “Heartstrings” is also being honored by the 2020 PaleyFest as one of the best television series of 2019. Most recently, Sam finished principal photography on an original Christmas musical with new music and lyrics by Dolly Parton.

Sam is married to his college sweetheart Mary Donnelly Haskell, a former Miss Mississippi. They have two children, Sam IV, and Mary Lane. Sam and Mary have three grandchildren, Samuel Bond Haskell V, James Donnelly Haskell, and William Kirkpatrick Haskell, II.

Mr. Haskell’s memoir, “Promises I Made My Mother,” is an incisive, compelling, deeply personal, and spiritually-enriching story about living a principled life in unprincipled times. It was acquired in auction by Ballantine Books, a Random House imprint, and is co-written / edited by David Rensin, a multiple New York Times bestselling author, and includes a forward written by Ray Romano. Mr. Haskell recalls, “Since I was a kid, I’ve been guided by principles that shaped me into who I am today. Mostly I’ve got my Mother to thank for that. She’s not here for the telling of this story, of life’s lessons learned, promises kept and dreams fulfilled, but I think if she were, she’d be smiling.”