ATAS names 2008 hall of fame inductees

Bea Arthur, Larry Gelbart, Merv Griffin, Daniel Burke, Tom Murphy and Sherwood Schwartz have been chosen as the latest inductees into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame "is a special recognition for those who have made significant contributions and have left an indelible mark on the television business," ATAS chairman and CEO John Shaffner said.

Hall of Fame candidates are submitted from the academy's membership and the industry at large to the Hall of Fame selection committee, which votes upon the final decision. The committee comprises chairman Mark Itkin, Fred Silverman, Brian Graden, Mike Darnell, Courtney Cox and Anne Sweeney.

The inductees' "respective careers have stood the test of time, and their accomplishments extend over decades," Itkin said.

Arthur is a two-time Emmy-winning and a Tony-winning comedienne-actress-singer best known for her roles on the comedies "Maude" and "The Golden Girls."

Comedy writer Gelbart, also an Emmy and Tony winner, has more than 60 years of credits, including "M*A*S*H," "Tootsie," "Oh, God!" and "Blame It on Rio."

Emmy winner Griffin, who died in August, hosted the long-running talker "The Merv Griffin Show" and created the game shows "Jeopardy!" "Wheel of Fortune" and, most recently, "Merv Griffin's Crosswords."

Burke was president of Capital Cities Communications for 22 years and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC until his retirement in 1994. Murphy was chairman and former CEO of Capital Cities/ABC before stepping down in 1990 and handing responsibilities to Burke.

Writer-producer Schwartz has been involved with more than 700 television shows but is best remembered for "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch."

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