Outgoing "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno and "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus are among the six new inductees to the Television Academy Hall of Fame who were announced Monday. The other inductees are super-prolific TV writer David E. Kelley, Dolby Laboratories founder Ray Dolby, 21st Century Fox and News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and veteran TV executive Brandon Stoddard.
All of the honorees have proved themselves to be resilient in the face of an ever-changing entertainment landscape. Leno ended his first run on "The Tonight Show" in 2009, but returned in 2010, replacing host Conan O'Brien. He's currently slated to step down from the show early next year to make way for Jimmy Fallon. Despite the behind-the-scenes tumult, Leno remains on top in the late-night ratings war.
Louis-Dreyfus hit it big with the iconic 1990s sitcom "Seinfeld," but she's been able to avoid the curse of being too closely associated with a single hit by appearing on the successful show "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and the current critical favorite, "Veep" on HBO.
David E. Kelley's shows were all over TV in the 1990s and early 2000s, including "Picket Fences," "Chicago Hope," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "Boston Public" and "Boston Legal." After a period of several failed series or pilots that went nowhere, including a much-discussed "Wonder Woman" pilot, Kelley is currently back on the air with the Robin Williams-Sarah Michelle Gellar comedy "The Crazy Ones," which was picked up for a full first season on CBS.
Dolby's company has done extensive work in the field of noise reduction and surround sound, achievements that have benefited many films and TV shows and earned his company 10 Academy Awards and 14 Emmy Awards. Dolby died in September and will be inducted posthumously.
Murdoch's reach in the television space includes Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox News, FX, FXX, FXM and multiple overseas broadcasting operations across six continents. Murdoch has recently suffered from bad press relating to a phone-hacking scandal in England that involved the Murdoch-owned News of the World. But that controversy doesn't seem to have greatly affected the popularity of Murdoch's TV stations in the United States.
Stoddard worked at ABC from 1970 until 1995 and served as its president beginning in 1985. He oversaw several landmark TV events, including the miniseries "Roots" and the groundbreaking prime time drama "Twin Peaks." Stoddard is best known for his development of the "ABC Novel For Television," which resulted in several popular miniseries, including "Rich Man, Poor Man" and "North and South."
The honorees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire on March 11.