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The Television Academy Hall of Fame was founded by a former president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, John H. Mitchell, to honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to television.
In the words of the selection committee, the Hall of Fame is for "persons who have made outstanding contributions in the arts, sciences or management of television, based upon either cumulative contributions and achievements or a singular contribution or achievement." Mitchell remained the chair of the Hall of Fame until his death in January 1988. He was succeeded by Edgar Scherick, who in turn passed the reins to Norman Lear.
The Television Hall of Fame does not have a museum open to the public like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or other such "halls of fame" and does not appear to have plans for one in the near future.
The first ceremony in 1984 celebrated the careers of Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Paddy Chayefsky, Norman Lear, Edward R. Murrow, William S. Paley and David Sarnoff. The honorees received glass statuettes in the form of two ballet dancers that were created by sculptor and painter Pascal to reflect the self-discipline required in all facets of the arts. Since 1988, inductees have brought home an award in the form of a crystal television screen atop a cast-bronze base. The new awards were designed by art director Romain Johnston.
Five or more new inductees are announced every year or two. All inductees have been individuals or pairs with the exception of the series I Love Lucy in 1990.
The only known induction request to be turned down is Sesame Street. For unknown reasons the producers have frequently denied permission for the show to be inducted.
Hall of Fame inductees
- Official site (with full list of honorees)
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