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August 19, 2009



Jerry Lewis

North Hollywood, CA, July 26, 2005 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Board of Governors has voted to bestow its prestigious Governors Award upon comedy legend Jerry Lewis, National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association for more than 50 years, in recognition of his work in connection with the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Dick Askin, Chairman of the Television Academy, made the announcement today.

The award will be presented at the 2005 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards. Gary Goldberger, Chairman of the Governors Award Nominating Committee, oversaw the selection process.

"Television has few traditions as impactful on the lives of viewers as the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon," said Askin. “This year, he hopes to reach the $2 billion mark for research programs of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Jerry's dedication and humanitarian efforts combined with the magnitude and longevity of the public service work he has performed exemplify everything the Governors Award represents.”

Goldberger added, “All the candidates who were considered for this award were very impressive. However, Lewis' tireless efforts to raise awareness and funds for the MDA and his work on behalf of the telethon merits his selection for this year’s Governors Award.  We congratulate him on receiving one of the Television Academy's highest honors.”

The Governors Award salutes an individual, company or organization whose works stand out with the immediacy of current achievement. Past recipients include ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC for the 9/11 special Supporting America: A Tribute to Heroes, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, Masterpiece Theatre, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, CNN, Showtime's diversity programming, PBS, Alistair Cooke, MTV's Fight For Your Rights: Take a Stand Against Violence, among others.  Last year, Viacom, Inc. received the award for its public service campaigns, including Nickelodeon’s “Let’s Just Play,” MTV’s “Choose or Lose” and the Viacom-wide “Know HIV/AIDS.”

For nearly 40 years, Lewis has been the host of and guiding spirit behind the Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon. His goal of raising “one dollar more” than the previous year’s amount has been more than met almost every year, thanks to the generosity and compassion of the American public.  Last year's total was $59.4 million.

Despite battling his own illnesses in recent years, Lewis has never missed a telethon. Through his work on the telethon, he has effectively led the battle to increase life expectancy and improve the quality of life for children and adults suffering from neuromuscular diseases.
First broadcast over Labor Day weekend in 1966 by a lone TV station in New York City, the unique event  quickly caught the public’s attention — and raised more than $1 million in pledges. Now, 39 years later, the show will be broadcast by some 200 MDA “Love Network” stations, assisted by nearly one million volunteers across the country and will be seen over the Internet as well from the Beverly Hilton on September 4-5, 2005.

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The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences was founded in 1946 just one month after network television was born. It is a non-profit organization devoted to the advancement of telecommunications arts and sciences and to fostering creative leadership in the telecommunications industry. In addition to recognizing outstanding programming through its Emmy® Award, the Television Academy publishes Emmy® Magazine.

For additional press information and resources concerning the Creative Arts Emmy® Awards or the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, please direct your inquiries to Robin Mesger of The Lippin Group at (323) 965-1990.

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Press Contacts:

The Lippin Group for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

Robin Mesger 323/965-1990
Pam Golum 323/965-1990

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