Six new members — actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, late night host Jay Leno, writer and producer David E. Kelley, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, network executive Brandon Stoddard, and sound pioneer Ray Dolby — will be inducted into the TV academy’s Hall of Fame on March 11.
These half dozen honorees join more than 130 individuals who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame over the past three decades. The initial group of pioneers honored in 1984 were comedienne and actress Lucille Ball, comedian Milton Berle, writer Paddy Chayevsky, writer and producer Norman Lear, newsman Edward R. Murrow, CBS founder William Paley, and NBC founder David Sarnoff.
Louis-Dreyfus is a four-time Emmy champ who earned her 14th nomination last summer in the comedy performance categories. She surpassed Ball to set a new comedy record. Her career total is 16, including two as a producer on “Veep.” She is one of only two people – Tyne Daly is the other – to win Emmys for regular roles on three different series (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Veep”).
Leno won an Emmy for Best Variety Series in 1995 for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and another for “Jay Leno’s Garage” (special class) in 2011. He has hosted the long-running NBC program since 1992 and will step down in early 2014. Before that, he made many appearances on other variety shows and guest hosted for Johnny Carson quite often.
Kelley is a 10-time Emmy champ for writing and producing “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Legal,” “Chicago Hope,” “L.A. Law,” “Picket Fences,” and “The Practice.” Since he writes most of his own scripts on these programs, his words have led to Emmy wins 38 times for 30 different performers (including Kathy Baker, Hector Elizondo, Christine Lahti, Mandy Patinkin, William Shatner, Tom Skerritt, Jimmy Smits, James Spader, and Ray Walston).
Murdoch is the chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox. During his ownership of the company, he founded the Fox network in 1986 and then Fox News, Fox Sports, FX, and more.
Stoddard joined the ABC network as their director of daytime programming in 1970. He held various positions at the network before becoming president in 1985. Programs created during his reign included “China Beach,” “Full House,” “Roseanne,” “thirtysomething,” “Twin Peaks,” and “The Wonder Years.” He also helped develop the three most watched miniseries in TV history: “Roots,” “The Thorn Birds,” and “The Winds of War.”
Dolby, who will be inducted posthumously, founded Dolby Laboratories in 1965. The company’s pioneering work in surround sound and noise reduction led to many state-of-the-art technologies that have been used throughout the television industry.