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Joe Voci, TV Executive Who Worked on ‘Murphy Brown,’ Dead at 51

As CBS comedy vice president, he helped boost ratings with hits including ”The Nanny“ and ”Designing Women“

TV executive Joe Voci, who worked on “The Wonder Years,” “Murphy Brown” and “Veronica Mars” during his 25-year career, died Saturday at the age of 51.

Voci died at his childhood home in New Jersey with his mother by his side, his family told TheWrap, after fighting brain cancer for nearly seven years.

He opened a formal wear shop in Washington D.C. with his sister Valerie after graduating from Georgetown University and worked as a brand manager for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati before heading to Hollywood in 1987.

Voci began his career in the industy at New World Television, overseeing production of “The Wonder Years,” before moving to CBS. As vice president of comedy programming, Voci helped transform the network as part of an executive team that brought it from third to first in the ratings in two years with hit shows including “Murphy Brown,” “The Nanny” and “Designing Women.”

Voci left CBS in 1994 to set up a production deal at Warner Bros. for his JVTV. His company’s first show, “High Society,” staring Jean Smart and Mary McDonnell, got the coveted post-“Murphy Brown” slot.

He was approached by Peter Guber and Scott Sanders in 1998 and became a partner in Mandalay Television. In his first year, all three of Voci’s pilots were picked up including “Cupid” (ABC), “Rude Awakening” (Showtime) and “Oh, Baby” (Lifetime).

In 2003 Voci returned to his JVTV and wrote more than 20 pilots, while also producing multi-platform entertainment properties including “The Pussy Cat Dolls Live at the Roxy.”

Joe is preceded in death by his father (Frank Sr. ), and survived by his mother Kass in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, two brothers, Frank and Anthony, a sister Valerie, two nieces Natalia and Victoria.

No funeral plans were announced, but the family asked that any donations be made to Cedars Sinai Hospital.