|Formation||March 4, 1984|
|Founder||John H. Mitchell|
|Founded at||California, U.S.|
|Purpose||To honour individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to television in the United States|
The Television Academy Hall of Fame was founded by a former president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), John H. Mitchell (1921-1988), to honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to U.S. television.
The awards were inaugurated in 1984, in the words of the selection committee, the Hall of Fame is for "persons who have made outstanding contributions in the arts, sciences or management of television, based upon either cumulative contributions and achievements or a singular contribution or achievement." Mitchell remained the chair of the Hall of Fame until his death in January 1988. He was succeeded by Edgar Scherick, who in turn passed the reins to Norman Lear.
The first ceremony in 1984 celebrated the careers of Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Paddy Chayefsky, Norman Lear, Edward R. Murrow, William S. Paley and David Sarnoff. The honorees received glass statuettes in the form of two ballet dancers that were created by sculptor and painter Pascal to reflect the self-discipline required in all facets of the arts. Since 1988, inductees have brought home an award in the form of a crystal television screen atop a cast-bronze base. The new awards were designed by art director Romain Johnston.
Inductions are not held every year. Five or more inductees are usually announced at a time. All inductees have been individuals or pairs, with the exceptions of the series I Love Lucy in 1990 and the entire original Saturday Night Live cast in 2017.
In 2016, the four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) were honored with special "Hall of Fame Cornerstone" Awards.