Bea Arthur, Merv Griffin Among Hall Inductees

Actress Bea Arthur, writer/producer Sherwood Schwartz and the late talk show host and producer Merv Griffin will be among the honorees inducted next week into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

Prolific comedy writer Larry Gelbart will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with Thomas Murphy, former chairman and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, and Daniel Burke, former president of Capital Cities Communications and past CEO of Capital Cities/ABC.

The induction ceremony, hosted by "Desperate Housewives" actor James Denton, will be held Dec. 9 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Norman Lear, Angela Lansbury, Florence Henderson, Robert Iger and Dawn Wells will be among the presenters.

Hall of Fame inductees are honored for making "extraordinary contributions to the television medium," according to the Television Academy.

Arthur is best remembered for her role as the title character in the 1970s sitcom "Maude," and for her portrayal of Dorothy Zbornak on "The Golden Girls." Arthur returned to Broadway in 2002 with her musical comedy "Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends."

Schwartz has been involved in the creation, writing or producing of more than 700 shows, most notably "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch" -- two shows for which he also co-wrote the memorable theme songs.

Griffin, who died in August 2007, hosted a talk show for 23 years, but made an even more lasting impact on the television world by creating the game shows "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" Griffin won 17 Emmy awards, and was nominated for 32.

Gelbart, who began his career writing for Danny Thomas in the 1940s, was one of the chief writers of the much-heralded television series "M*A*S*H." He also wrote the films "Oh, God!" and "Blame it on Rio." He co-wrote the screenplay for "Tootsie."

Murphy is credited with building Capital Cities Communications into one of the country's leading media companies. He engineered the acquisition of ABC, and served as both chairman and CEO of the merged company. He retired in 1996.

Burke served as president of Capital Cities Communications for 18 years and was CEO of Capital Cities/ABC from 1990 until his retirement in 1994.

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