PGA inducts 13 shows into its Hall

Thirteen classic television shows were inducted into the Producers Guild of America Hall of Fame during Wednesday night’s presentation of the Guild’s fifth annual Golden Laurel Awards.

In addition, Bob Finkel, veteran producer best known for TV musical/variety programs including those hosted by Andy Williams, Perry Como and George Gobel, was presented with the PGA’s Charles B. FitzSimons Lifetime Membership Award. Named after its first recipient, the Guild’s executive director, the award is given to a longtime member who has shown especially dedicated active service in the interest of the Guild over a long term.

The inductees were the 1974 TV film “Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” and the comedy, dramatic and educational series “The Carol Burnett Show,””Cheers, “”The Defenders,””Hill Street Blues,””Omnibus,””Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, “”Saturday Night Live,””Sesame Street,””Studio One,””Texaco Star Theater” (starring Milton Berle), “The Twilight Zone” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

Selection was by a committee of PGA judges; programs less than 5 years old were exempt from consideration, said Grant Tinker, announcing the citations. (Films and television programs are inducted in alternate years; this was the second set of TV Hall of Fame awards). Producers and/or talent representing all selected shows were present to acknowledge the honors.

Also on hand were most recipients of the previously announced 1994 PGA honors (Daily Variety, Feb. 15): Saul Zaentz (David O. Selznick lifetime achievement award in theatrical motion pictures), Roy Huggins (David Susskind lifetime achievement award in TV), “NYPD Blue’s” Steven Bochco, David Milch and Gregory Hoblit (Norman Felton TV producer of the year award), “The Piano’s” Jan Chapman (Eastman Kodak Nova award for most promising theatrical motion picture producer) , and “Seinfeld’s” Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld (American Airlines Nova award for most promising TV producer).

Not present were “Schindler’s List” honorees Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen and Branko Lustig, winners of the Darryl F. Zanuck theatrical motion picture producer of the year award.

Accepting the American Airlines Nova award, Seinfeld quipped that he and David were “two guyswho have no creative vision, no standards, no idea at all of what we’re doing. To win an award like this, from an airline …” He was drowned out by audience laughter. (The Nova selections, like all others, were made by a PGA committee, and only sponsored by Kodak and American Airlines).