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TV Academy Hall of Fame

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Chris Beachum
  • Chris Beachum
    May 22nd, 2011

    For almost every year since 1984, the Television Academy has inducted several people into its TV Hall of Fame. Unfortunately they have not selected anybody since 2014. Here are 40 very deserving people who belong and are part of a new photo gallery we just launched. Let’s hope they will have a ceremony this year. Feel free to discuss which ones might be chosen next and add names of your own (all of these are over 50).



    David Letterman
    With 33 years as a late night TV host, Letterman had the longest tenure of anyone in history (three years longer than his idol Johnny Carson). He started with the critically acclaimed daytime program “The David Letterman Show” (1980) before his 11 years hosting “Late Night” (1982-1993) and 22 years on “Late Show.” He has five primetime Emmy wins in 52 nominations plus two daytime wins.

    Don Knotts
    One of the most iconic characters in TV history is Barney Fife played by Knotts on “The Andy Griffith Show.” He won five Emmys for the role (1961, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967) and has the distinction of never losing on a nomination. His career also included “The Steve Allen Show” (1956-1960), “Three’s Company” (1979-1984), plus many variety specials and guest roles.

    Lily Tomlin
    Tomlin’s breakout on television was as a cast member on the top-rated “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh’In” (1969-1973). In addition to many variety programs and guest roles, she has recently starred on the Netflix comedy series “Grace and Frankie.” She won five Emmy Awards for writing or producing variety specials before winning in 2013 for narrating “An Apology to Elephants.” She also won a Daytime Emmy for the animated program “The Magic School Bus” (1995).

    Ken Burns
    Burns is one of the greatest American documentarians in history. He is a five-time Emmmy winner for “The Civil War” (1991), “Baseball” (1995), “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson” (2005), and “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” (2010). Other nominations were for “The Statue of Liberty” (1986), “Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio” (1992), “Jazz” (2001), “The War” (2008), “The Roosevelts” (2015), and “Cancer” (2015).

    Tyne Daly
    Daly is one of the most respected and awarded actresses on television. She has a total of six Emmy wins with four for “Cagney and Lacey” (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988), one for “Christy” (1996), and one for “Judging Amy” (2003). With 17 overall nominations, other programs included “Intimate Strangers” (1978) and “Wings” (1992).

    Jay Sandrich
    Sandrich began one of the best TV directing careers as an assistant director on “I Love Lucy.” He then went on to direct most episodes of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Cosby Show” plus several installments of “Get Smart,” “The Odd Couple,” “Soap,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “The Golden Girls,” and “Empty Nest.” He won a total of four Emmys (two for “MTM” and two for “Cosby”) among his 10 career nominations.

    Peter Falk
    Nobody could have played the iconic homicide detective “Columbo” like Falk. He began his long run as the offbeat cop with the 1968 telefilm “Prescription: Murder” and then followed with NBC episodes 1971-1978 and ABC episodes 1989-2003. He was nominated at the Emmys for that role 10 times, winning four times in 1972, 1975, 1976 and 1990. He also won an Emmy for the anthology program “The Dick Powell Show” (1962).

    Bob Costas
    Costas has spent most of his sportscasting career with NBC in 1980, covering baseball, basketball, and the Olympics among many sports. He has an astounding 21 Sports Emmy wins for hosting, reporting and more.

    Ellen DeGeneres
    DeGeneres launched her stand-up comedy career to most Americans in 1986 with a rollicking appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” She went on to many TV guest appearances and her own series “Ellen,” picking up one primetime Emmy win in 14 career nominations. But it has been her daytime talker “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” providing her with the most acclaim and 29 Daytime Emmy victories.

    Michael J. Fox
    NBC did not want to hire the unknown Fox for its new comedy “Family Ties” in 1982. He proved everybody wrong by playing one of the most iconic 1980s characters in Alex P. Keaton, the conservation teenage son of liberal parents. That role won him three Emmys, and he picked up two more for “Spin City” (2000) and “Rescue Me” (2009). He has had a career total of 16 nominations, with other shows being “Boston Legal,” “Curb Your Enthusiam,” and “The Good Wife.”

    Cicely Tyson
    Tyson hasn’t had long-running series roles on television but has still racked up 12 Emmy nominations in her career. With many impactful TV movies on her resume, she has three Emmy wins — two for “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974) and one for “Oldest Living Confederate Widown Tells All (1994).

    John Ritter
    Before his untimely death in 2003, Ritter was a large presence on TV for three decades. Most of that was for his comedy performances in regular series as well as many guest spots and telefilms. His most famous role as Jack Tripper on “Three’s Company” brought him three Emmy nominations and a win in 1984. He also picked up noms for “Hooperman,” “Ally McBeal,” and “8 Simple Rules.”

    Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David
    Seinfeld was already one of the top stand-up comedians when his show “Seinfeld” launched in 1989. David had been developing a writing career when he and Seinfeld teamed up for one of the most critically-acclaimed and popular comedies ever. The show won Best Comedy Series at the Emmys in 1993, and both men have received many other nominations for that show and others along the way.

    Dick Ebersol
    Ebersol is one of the most influential men in sports programming history. He started out under Hall of Fame inductee Roone Arledge in 1967 at ABC before a long executive career at NBC. His innovative coverage of the Olympics and the NFL would not be what it is today without his creative ideas and leadership.

    David Chase
    The critically-acclaimed HBO mobster drama “The Sopranos” was the brainchild of Chase from 1999 to 2007 and won him five Emmys. But that’s not his only achievement, with top notch work also on “The Rockford Files” (another Drama Series Emmy), “I’ll Fly Away,” and “Northern Exposure” among his producing credits.

    Elizabeth Montgomery
    Montgomery’s most remembered career achievement was as Samantha Stephens on “Bewitched,” which brought her five Emmy nominations. She was also the queen of TV movies in the 1970s and 1980s, which gave her more Emmy noms for “A Case of Rape” (1974), “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” (1975), and “The Awakening Land” (1978).

    Henry Winkler
    There was no bigger star in the 1970s than Winkler, who had an explosive breakout role as Fonzie on “Happy Days.” He received three Emmy nominations for that role and has three others in primetime plus five in daytime. Beyond his acting work, he produced “Hollywood Squares,” “MacGyver,” specials and TV movies.

    Carroll Spinney
    You might not know the name, but Spinney has been in your home for almost 50 years as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street.” He has four Daytime Emmys and the lifetime achievement award from NATAS in 2006.

    Julia Child
    There might not be a Food Network or cooking segments on talk shows without the pioneering TV work of Child. She debuted “The French Chef” in 1963 and continued to work steadily on television for the next four decades. She won a primetime Emmy and two in daytime among eight overall nominations.

    Ted Danson
    Danson has been on your television screen practically every day since the early 1980s. His most iconic role as Sam Malone on “Cheers” brought him 11 straight Emmy nominations and two wins (1990, 1993). He also received three noms for “Damages” and has starred in “Becker,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “C.S.I.,” “Fargo,” and now “The Good Place.”

    Ed Bradley
    Bradley spent 26 years as one of TV top news correspondents and journalists on “60 Minutes.” Before that he was the first black White House correspondent for any network, winning a Peabody Award and 19 Emmys during his lengthy career.

    Tom Selleck
    There wasn’t a bigger star on television during the 1980s than Selleck, who was the lead on the detective series “Magnum, P.I.” He won an Emmy Award in 1984 for that role among his seven career nominations. He is also well known for many TV movies, including the “Jesse Stone” franchise and lately as the star of the police drama “Blue Bloods.”

    Alex Trebek
    Trebek has been one of the top game show hosts since the 1970s, starting with “The Wizard of Odds,” “High Rollers,” “Double Dare,” and more. But it’s over three decades as host of the intelligent “Jeopardy” which has brought him fame and five Daytime Emmy Awards.

    Mike Post
    One of the most prolific composers ever, you can hum almost all of Post’s TV theme songs. The Emmy winner’s work has included “The Rockford Files,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “The A-Team,” “L.A. Law,” “Quantum Leap,” “Law and Order,” “NYPD Blue” and more.

    Larry Hagman
    Hagman played the most well-known scoundrel in television history with J.R. Ewing on “Dallas.” The episode where his attempted murderer is revealed is still one of the highest-rated. With many strong guest roles and TV movies, he also was the lead on the comedy “I Dream of Jeannie” for many years.

    Alfre Woodard
    This four-time Emmy winner (out of 18 career nominations) has been a strong presence on TV for almost four decades. As one of the industry’s most in-demand actreses, her victories came for “Hill Street Blues” (1984), “L.A. Law” (1987), “Miss Evers’ Boys” (1997), and “The Practice” (2003).

    John Wells
    Wells has been one of TV’s top producers and writers for almost three decades. His work has included creating and/or producing “China Beach,” “Third Watch,” “The West Wing,” “E.R.,” “Mildred Pierce,” “Southland,” and “Shameless,” bringing him six program Emmys along the way.

    Jon Stewart
    Stewart had a good stand-up career going for him in 1999 when he took over hosting duties for the political satire program “The Daily Show.” He brought that show to new heights and has now won 22 Emmy Awards in his career. He helped discover Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Samantha Bee, John Oliver and many others.

    Bob Keeshan
    It’s a shame Keeshan and his alter ego “Captain Kangaroo” hasn’t already been inducted for his pioneering work in children’s programming. The daily show ran from 1955 to 1984 and gave him five daytime Emmy wins and three Peabody Awards.

    Mark Burnett
    If not for Burnett, reality television certainly wouldn’t have become such a force in such a short period of time. He started with “Survivor” in 2000 and continuing with “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” “The Voice,” and even producing the People’s Choice Awards and Emmy Awards ceremonies. He is a 10-time Emmy winner.

    Brian Lamb
    Lamb was a journalist when he founded C-SPAN in 1979. His vision brought Americans daily live coverage of the House of Representatives and Senate without need for advertising that would cater to the needs of businesses. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

    Bryant Gumbel
    Gumbel was hired as part of NBC Sports as a co-host of NFL coverage back in 1975. He is best known for his move away from sports into the main anchor chair for the long-running “Today” show in 1982. He has since moved on to work for CBS and HBO, winning four Emmy Awards during his career.

    James Arness
    Arness played the solemn, trustworthy Marshal Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke” for 20 seasons. That’s the longest-running consecutive run for a dramatic actor in TV history. He received three Emmy nominations but never won for his most famous role.

    Kelsey Grammer
    With his work on “Cheers” and “Frasier,” Grammer holds the record as the longest-running live action comedic character in TV history at 20 years. His role as Frasier Crane brought him four Emmys, plus he has another for the animated character of Sideshow Bob on “The Simpsons.”

    Sheila Nevins
    Quite simply, Nevins has won more individual Primetime Emmy Awards than any other person ever. Her 32 trophies are for her documentaries and films, including projects about war, Alzheimer’s, religion, Robert Durst, Scientology, plus her variety special with Elaine Stritch.

    Garry Shandling
    Shandling was a pioneering person in moving from a successful stand-up comic career into two long-running TV series: “It’s Garry Shandling’ Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” The latter brought him his only Emmy win in 1998 for writing and was based on his many guest hosting appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”

    Don Mischer
    Mischer is the king of producing and directing live television programs, including several Emmys and Oscars ceremonies, Super Bowl halftime shows, presidential inaugurations, Kennedy Center Honors, and more. He has won 15 Emmy Awards during his career and served on the TV Academy’s Board of Governors.

    Susan Lucci
    Lucci has one of the most memorable Daytime Emmy wins in history in 1999. That’s because she finally won for her role on the soap opera “All My Children” on her 19th nomination. Due to her role as Erica Kane, she might be the most famous daytime drama performer of all time.

    Larry King
    King was already a radio talk show legend for decades when he joined CNN in 1985. He then hosted “Larry King Live” for the next 25 years, welcoming politicians, celebrities, authors, and pretty much everybody else on his nightly show. He received a life achievement award at the News Emmys in 2011.

    Raymond Burr
    Burr accomplished something only a few have done before or since — starring on two long-running drama series. His most remembered is the legal program “Perry Mason,” which brought him two Emmy wins in 1959 and 1961. He then had six straight nominations for his wheelchair-bound ex-cop “Ironside.”


    Chris Beachum
    May 22nd, 2011

    1st induction (1984)
    Lucille Ball
    Milton Berle
    Paddy Chayefsky
    Norman Lear
    Edward R. Murrow
    William S. Paley
    David Sarnoff

    2nd induction (1985)
    Carol Burnett
    Sid Caesar
    Walter Cronkite
    Joyce Hall
    Rod Serling
    Ed Sullivan
    Sylvester “Pat” Weaver

    3rd induction (1986)
    Steve Allen
    Fred Coe
    Walt Disney
    Jackie Gleason
    Mary Tyler Moore
    Frank Stanton
    Burr Tillstrom

    4th induction (1987)
    Johnny Carson
    Jacques Cousteau
    Leonard Goldenson
    Jim Henson
    Bob Hope
    Ernie Kovacs
    Eric Sevareid

    5th induction (1988)
    Jack Benny
    George Burns and Gracie Allen
    Chet Huntley and David Brinkley
    Red Skelton
    David Susskind
    David L. Wolper

    6th induction (1989)
    Roone Arledge
    Fred Astaire
    Perry Como
    Joan Ganz Cooney
    Don Hewitt
    Carroll O’Connor
    Barbara Walters

    7th induction (1990)
    Desi Arnaz
    Leonard Bernstein
    James Garner
    I Love Lucy
    Danny Thomas
    Mike Wallace

    8th induction (1991)
    Bill Cosby
    Andy Griffith
    Ted Koppel
    Sheldon Leonard
    Dinah Shore
    Ted Turner

    9th induction (1992)
    John Chancellor
    Dick Clark
    Phil Donahue
    Mark Goodson
    Bob Newhart
    Agnes Nixon
    Jack Webb

    10th induction (1993)
    Alan Alda
    Howard Cosell
    Barry Diller
    Fred W. Friendly
    William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
    Oprah Winfrey

    11th induction (1995)
    Michael Landon
    Richard Levinson and William Link
    Jim McKay
    Bill Moyers
    Dick Van Dyke
    Betty White

    12th induction (1996)
    Edward Asner
    Steven Bochco
    Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner
    Charles Kuralt
    Angela Lansbury
    Aaron Spelling
    Lew Wasserman

    13th induction (1997)
    James L. Brooks
    Garry Marshall
    Quinn Martin
    Diane Sawyer
    Grant Tinker

    14th induction (1999)
    Herbert Brodkin
    Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer
    Lorne Michaels
    Carl Reiner
    Fred Rogers
    Fred Silverman
    Ethel Winant

    15th induction (2002)
    Tim Conway and Harvey Korman
    John Frankenheimer
    Bob Mackie
    Jean Stapleton
    Bud Yorkin

    16th induction (2004)
    Bob Barker
    Charles Cappleman
    Art Carney
    Katie Couric
    Dan Rather
    Brandon Tartikoff

    17th induction (2006)
    Tom Brokaw
    James Burrows
    Leonard Goldberg
    Regis Philbin
    William Shatner

    18th induction (2008)
    Bea Arthur
    Daniel Burke
    Larry Gelbart
    Merv Griffin
    Thomas Murphy
    Sherwood Schwartz

    19th induction (2010)
    Candice Bergen
    Charles Lisanby
    Don Pardo
    Gene Roddenberry
    Smothers Brothers
    Bob Stewart

    20th induction (2011)
    Diahann Carroll
    Tom Freston
    Earle Hagen
    Susan Harris
    Peter Jennings
    Cloris Leachman
    Bill Todman

    21st induction (2012)
    Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray
    Michael Eisner
    Sherman Hemsley
    Bill Klages
    Mario Kreutzberger
    Chuck Lorre
    Vivian Vance and William Frawley

    22nd induction (2013)
    Philo Farnsworth
    Ron Howard
    Al Michaels
    Leslie Moonves
    Bob Schieffer
    Dick Wolf

    23rd induction (2014)
    Ray Dolby
    David E. Kelley
    Jay Leno
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus
    Rupert Murdoch
    Brandon Stoddard

    ReplyCopy URL
    Feb 13th, 2017

    Great list, it’s hard to believe some of them (Don Knotts!) didn’t get in before 2014.

    ReplyCopy URL
    May 24th, 2011

    I think it is time for Lorne Michaels to get inducted. Especially given how relevant SNL is this year politically and culturally.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Dec 22nd, 2015

    I think it is time for Lorne Michaels to get inducted. Especially given how relevant SNL is this year politically and culturally.


    ReplyCopy URL
    Feb 15th, 2014

    I’m sorry but Chuck Lorre is in there but not David Letterman???

    Give Paul Thomas Anderson an Oscar.

    ReplyCopy URL
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