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November 09, 2009

Hall of Fame to Induct Candice Bergen, Charles Lisanby, Don Pardo, Gene Roddenberry, the Smothers Brothers and Bob Stewart

Television Academy Hall of Fame ceremony to take place at the Beverly Hills Hotel on January 20, 2010.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame Committee has selected Candice Bergen, Charles Lisanby, Don Pardo, Gene Roddenberry, Tom and Dick Smothers and Bob Stewart to be the next inductees into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame, Television Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner announced today.

The new group of inductees will be honored at a special ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Producing the Hall of Fame Gala are Lee Miller and Kevin Hamburger.

"Each year, the Television Academy has the privilege of honoring television greats that have contributed to the development and success of this ever-evolving medium," Shaffner said. "This year's inductees have challenged and shaped popular culture, changed television for the better and entertained us royally while doing so. We are very pleased to be able to induct them into the Hall of Fame for their many achievements."

Hall of Fame candidates are submitted from the Television Academy's membership and the industry at large to the Hall of Fame selection committee, chaired by Mark Itkin, partner, William Morris Endeavor. This year’s committee includes Mike Darnell, president, alternative entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company; Brian Graden, president, programming, for MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo; renowned television producer-director Lee Miller: Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney – ABC Television Group; and Thomas Walsh, award-winning production designer and current president of the Art Directors Guild.

"To have the opportunity to once again be a part of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee is a true honor," Itkin said. "These individuals have each made extraordinary and lasting contributions that have meant so much to multiple generations of television viewers. Their work will endure for decades to come."

Following is background on this year's Hall of Fame inductees:

Candice Bergen is perhaps best known for playing the title character on the critically acclaimed CBS comedy Murphy Brown. Bergen proved herself to be a deft comedienne as the tough, high-octane television reporter, and earned five Primetime Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, while tackling many important issues such as alcoholism, single mothers and breast cancer. At the conclusion of the series in 1998, Bergen went on to host Exhale with Candice Bergen on the Oxygen network. Candice most recently portrayed the role of smart, sexy, dignified, lawyer Shirley Schmidt on the David E. Kelley dramedy Boston Legal, which garnered her two Emmy nominations and both a Golden Globe and SAG nomination. Recent film credits include Bride Wars, Sex & the City and a role in the remake of The Women. Bergen is currently filming the romantic comedy The Romantics, co-starring Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel and Anna Paquin. Other film credits include, The In-Laws, with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, Sweet Home Alabama, with Reese Witherspoon and Miss Congeniality. She also co-starred with Jacqueline Bisset in Rich and Famous, appeared in the role of Margaret Bourke-White in Sir Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi and starred opposite Burt Reynolds in Stick.

Art director Charles Lisanby began his career as a set decorator on The $64,000 Question, and went on to become a groundbreaking production designer and art director for numerous variety series, comedy and music specials and made-for-television movies. He received his first Primetime Emmy Award for Benjamin Franklin, in 1974, which earned him Outstanding Individual Achievement in Art Direction or Scenic Design for a Single Episode of a Comedy, Drama or Limited Series. He received two more Emmy Awards in 1980, for Baryshnikov on Broadway, and in 1988, for Barry Manilow: Big Fun on Swing Street, while garnering multiple Emmy nominations for his work throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

The legendary announcer Don Pardo, the familiar voice of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, has been closely identified with that television staple since its 1975 debut from Studio 8H at the network's 30 Rock headquarters. Officially retired, Pardo continues to provide the show’s introductions. In the early 1950s, he served as announcer for many of RCA and NBC's closed-circuit color television demonstrations but eventually became one of the network’s top game show announcers. He made his mark as the booming voice of the original The Price Is Right, from 1956 until it moved to ABC in 1963, then Call My Bluff. He would later move to NBC’s Jeopardy!, from 1964-75. He also announced numerous other New York-based NBC game shows, including Three on a Match, Winning Streak and Jackpot!

The legacy of two-time Primetime Emmy Award-nominee Gene Roddenberry continues to flourish, as the Star Trek franchise he created has reached 10 theatrical movies, seven television series and numerous merchandising and ancillary businesses — all of which maintain the late producer’s vision of the future. Often affectionately referred to as the "Great Bird of the Galaxy," Roddenberry led a life as colorful and exciting as almost any high adventure fiction. It wasn't until 1966, when Roddenberry created and produced the original Star Trek, that he found his voice in Hollywood. Once Star Trek debuted on television, it developed a loyal following as fanatical viewers grew to love the starship Enterprise and its crew. Roddenberry served as a decorated Second Lieutenant during World War II, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

With their singular blend of comedic and musical talents, the irrepressible brothers Dick and Tom Smothers have made a sweeping impact on diverse generations of fans. Such lasting power is a testament to their intuitive humor, natural warmth, superlative showmanship and the pure, unadulterated joy they bring to audiences of all ages. Their first professional appearance as the Smothers Brothers came at the Purple Onion in San Francisco in February 1959. Television soon called, and they made their first appearance on The Jack Paar Show, on January 28, 1961. The 1967 debut of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, on CBS, quickly toppled NBC's Bonanza as the perennial ratings champion. The popularity of the multiple Emmy-nominated variety series was matched by its influence and the controversy it generated over the brothers’ political humor, including opposition to the Vietnam War, which led to a premature network cancellation. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the Smothers Brothers returned to television with new primetime comedy series and specials. They continue to perform for sold-out audiences in Las Vegas and concert halls through the U.S. Their continuous coast-to-coast concert tours often include performances with symphony orchestras. The ever-popular YoYo Man (Tom) and the Voice of Yo (Dick) travel and appear with the Smothers Brothers in concert.

Bob Stewart is known for creating some of the most popular game shows for Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions, including To Tell the Truth, Password and the enduring daytime hit, The Price Is Right. After its seven-year run on NBC and two years on ABC, The Price Is Right debuted in September 1972 as The New Price is Right on CBS, with Bob Barker and Dennis James. Within a year, the title reverted back to The Price Is Right, and this version of the show remains on the air today, with Drew Carey as host. In 1961, Stewart created Password, the first game to pair celebrities and contestants. It became the top-rated program on daytime television. From 1966-91, Stewart created and executive produced 15 series, including Chain Reaction, The Love Experts, Pass the Buck, Shoot for the Stars and the $10,000 Pyramid and its spin-offs. Stewart has won a total of nine Emmys as an executive producer.

Full historical video interviews with Charles Lisanby, Don Pardo, the Smothers Brothers and Bob Stewart are available online through the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation's Archive of American Television. For links to the interviews, visit http://www.emmytvlegends.org.

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