In 1986 he was the first to come up with the idea to translate a T.V. show into a feature film. He sold the idea to Universal with the shortest movie pitch in history...he hummed the trademark notes of the classic television series Dragnet...Dum De Dum Dum to the head of the studio and produced one of the highest grossing movies of 1987... Dragnet starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks.
He was president of Theatre Television Corp. and filmed James Whitmore in a one-man show staged in front of a live audience on one night in 1976. Every studio turned the film down for distribution so Permut with partner Bill Sargent released the film themselves three weeks after it was filmed and won a Best Actor Academy Award nomination with only one actor (James Whitmore) appearing in the movie. The film grossed over eleven million dollars on a budget of under one hundred thousand.
Meet stereo salesman turned screenwriter Dale Launer in early 80's when Dale shared a true story with Permut about a girl who was set up on a blind date which turned into a disaster when she got drunk and went out of control. The pair created a bidding war among four studios...Launer wrote the screenplay Blind Date which Permut produced and marked Bruce Willis' starring debut opposite Kim Bassinger. Launer went on to write Ruthless People, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and My Cousin Vinny among others.
Permut went on with Bill Sargent and Mark Travis to form Special Event Entertainment (SEE) and finance "Richard Pryor - Live In Concert" in 1979. This was the first filmed comedy concert , .shot on two nights in front of a live audience. The film was then turned down by every studio for distribution, so the team booked the theater screens on their own and released the film three weeks after it was recorded. The movie is one of the highest grossing comedy concerts in history racking up over thirty million dollars.
Was a motion picture and television agent in his earlier career and was David Letterman's first agent.