TV Land today announced plans to salute Lucille Ball, “Roots,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Taxi” and “Hee-Haw” at its fifth annual “TV Land Awards,” to be presented April 14 in Santa Monica, Calif. The ceremony will be taped for telecast on the channel the evening of April 22.
Lucy is being honored with the awards show’s first Legacy of Laughter Award, which is given to an entertainer “whose awe-inspiring work continues to serve as an inspiration and a guiding force”—not bad for someone who’s been dead 18 years.
The “Legacy of Laughter” nomenclature ties in with the seminars presented around the country by the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center , which also operates an extensive museum dedicated to the “I Love Lucy” couple in Lucy’s home town of Jamestown, N.Y. Carol Burnett will present the award to Lucie and Desi Jr., who will accept on behalf of their mother.
[Panelists at last month’s Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center “Legacy of Laughter” presentation in Boulder City, Nev., included (from left) Sebastien Gendry of Laughter Yoga; actor Sean Astin; Lucie Arnaz, who moderated; Desi Arnaz Jr.; crisis intervention counselor Jim Dunnigan; and artist Christina Carroll.]
The 1977 ABC miniseries “Roots” will get the Anniversary Award for turning 30. John Amos, Todd Bridges, LeVar Burton, Lou Gossett Jr., Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams and Ben Vereen are scheduled to be on hand to accept. That’s quite a crowd.
TV Land’s Pop Culture Award, presented to a show that “has crossed the line from television series to pop culture phenomenon,” will go to “The Brady Bunch,” another ABC-originated show. According to release, Alice the maid and all the Brady kids are scheduled to be there except poor sport Eve Plumb, who apparently is still struggling to shake the uptight “Jan” stigma she’s been saddled with her whole life.
“Taxi,” yet another ABC offspring, will receive the Medalllion Award for “a television series which has stood the test of time and ranks among the most memorable and celebrated shows in TV history”—something of a a stretch, dontcha think? Judd Hirsch, Tony Danza and Jeff Conaway are scheduled to accept.
Finally, the Entertainer Award for a “series that formed a bond with its devoted audience” is going to the syndicated hoe-down “Hee-Haw.” In my memory that show was acquired taste at best, sort of a hillbilly “Laugh-In,” but I suppose it did form bonds with people in auto parts stores and trailer parks all over the U.S. of A.
Through April 7, TV Land is also inviting folks to vote in a number of irreverent Viewers’ Choice Awards categories on its Web site.