The Television Academy has announced the 26th Hall of Fame class: entertainer Rita Moreno, choreographer and actress Debbie Allen, documentarian Ken Burns, BET founder Robert L. Johnson, CBS executive Bob Daly and cinematographer Donald A. Morgan.
Two of these honorees had already received honorary awards from the Television Academy. Moreno was awarded a “Televisionary Award” in 2008. Allen received a Governors Award just last year.
The Hall of Fame event is set to take place Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, Calif. In addition to the induction of the 2022 Hall of Fame recipients, the event will include the presentation of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award to actor/director/activist Sean Penn and the unveiling of new busts of four previous inductees.
“These legendary performers, creators, craftspeople and television executives are luminaries in our industry,” Frank Scherma, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, said in a statement. “Their work has influenced and immeasurably elevated the current television landscape and culture. We are proud to induct these trailblazers into the Hall of Fame and honored to celebrate their extraordinary contributions to our industry.”
“This year’s honorees have told the American story through television in ways that will forever shape our history and culture,” said Rick Rosen, Hall of Fame selection committee chair (who is also WME co-founder and head of television). “Whether they reshaped the industry itself through visionary leadership or created pieces of work that have had a lasting legacy, these individuals will forever be remembered for the impact they’ve had on the medium.”
The 2022 Hall of Fame honorees join more than 150 individuals previously inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1984. The honors were presented every year from 1984 to 1993, but the Academy has skipped 13 years since then for various reasons. This is the first induction class since 2019.
In addition to Rosen, this year’s Hall of Fame selection committee included Marcy Carsey, Emmy-winning producer; Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman of Universal Studio Group; Peter Roth, former chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group; Nina Tassler, co-chief executive officer of PatMa Productions; and Dana Walden, chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content.
The Academy will honor Sean Penn with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award for his decades of activism – even though the outspoken liberal Penn and the staunchly conservative Hope would have probably agreed on little politically. The award was established in 2002 to honor an individual whose philanthropic efforts exemplify Bob Hope’s decades-long altruistic efforts. The award is presented by the Television Academy’s board of governors, in conjunction with the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation.
“Sean’s activism and immense humanitarian efforts have had a profound impact on the global community, and he has effectively used his platform to motivate change,” said Kim Coleman, co-chair of the Humanitarian Award selection committee. “Sean is responsible for getting help to people who need it the most. From Haiti to Ukraine to Los Angeles, he is an inspiration to us all,” said the other co-chair, Michael Spiller. Both Coleman and Spiller are Television Academy governors.
Prior to the induction ceremony, the Academy will unveil four new busts of previous inductees – all women, we might add – in the Hall of Fame sculpture garden. They are screenwriter/producer/author Shonda Rhimes, actress/comedian/producer Julia Louis Dreyfus, comedian/actress/television host Joan Rivers and journalist/producer/author Katie Couric.
Here’s a complete list of the new honorees.