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TV Academy Hall of Fame inducts Bergen, Pardo, Roddenberry, Smothers Brothers

November 10, 2009 |  5:50 pm

76101345 What do Candice Bergen, Dick and Tommy Smothers, Gene Roddenberry, Don Pardo, Bob Stewart and Charles Lisanby have in common? They are the Class of 2010 for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame, according to an announcement from the Academy released today. The Hall of Fame Committee will induct each of its new members at a gala ceremony Jan. 20.

Bergen is a five-time Emmy winner for her groundbreaking role on the CBS sitcom "Murphy Brown." She netted two additional Emmy nods as well as a Golden Globe and a SAG Award nomination for her turn as lawyer Shirley Schmidt on David E. Kelley's "Boston Legal." Her film c.v. includes features ranging from 1966's "The Sand Pebbles" with Steve McQueen to "Carnal Knowledge" (1971) and 1980's "Starting Over," which earned her an Oscar nomination. More recently, she has appeared in "Sex and the City" and "Sweet Home Alabama," among others.

The late Gene Roddenberry ensured his place in pop culture history as the creator of the television series "Star Trek" in 1966, which in addition to garnering him two Emmy nominations during its original network run has blossomed into a media franchise that includes 10 theatrical features, seven television series and a host of merchandising and ancillary business.

Dick and Tommy Smothers initially captured audiences' attention with their musical comedy act, which debuted on "The Jack Paar Show" in 1961, but it was their 1967 variety series, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," which ushered them into the history books. Not only did the fledgling program topple the reigning network champ, "Bonanza," but its Emmy-winning combination of politically charged humor and cutting-edge musical guests made it a cause celebre among counterculture viewers. The show's stand against the Vietnam War helped bring it to a premature end, but it remained a landmark in freedom of speech on the airwaves for decades to come. 

The rich, basso profundo voice of announcer Don Pardo has been reminding viewers that "Saturday Night Live" emanates from New York since the NBC comedy-variety series launched in 1975. He began his career in the 1950s for RCA and NBC before becoming one of television's most recognizable game show announcers. Among his iconic credits include "The Price is Right," "Jeopardy," "Today," the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and "Wheel of Fortune."

Art director Charles Lisanby won three Emmy awards for his work on variety programs, specials and TV movies, beginning in 1974 with the miniseries "Benjamin Franklin." His second award came with 1980's "Baryshnikov on Broadway," followed by a third for "Barry Manilow: Big Fun on Swing Street" in 1988. Along the way, he netted Emmy noms for "American Playhouse," the 60th Academy Awards in 1988, and "Greatest Hits on Ice" in 1994.

Bob Stewart created some of the most popular game shows on television, including "To Tell the Truth," "Password," "The Price is Right," and the Pyramid series, which began with "The $10,000 Pyramid" in 1973. Stewart joined Goodman-Todson Productions in 1956, where he produced most of his enduring series; in 1965, he established his own company, Basada Productions, which produced "Pyramid." The series eventually earned him nine Emmys between 1973 and 1989.

Historical interviews with Lisanby, the Smothers Brothers, Pardo and Stewart can be viewed online at the academy's website.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Candice Bergen. Credit: Getty Images

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