New York, NY – February 14, 2013 – The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) today announced that Monty Hall, the Daytime television icon of the historic, “Let’s Make A Deal,” and Bob Stewart, the legendary creator of “To Tell the Truth,” “Password,” and “The $10,000 Pyramid” among others will be honored at the 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy® Awards with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Aside from all of the excitement around our 40th anniversary,” said Malachy Wienges, Chairman, NATAS, “we are honoring two giants in Game Show history. So many of us grew up watching Monty Hall excite us with what was behind Door # 1, #2 or #3 and found ourselves addicted to the challenge and imagination of Bob Stewart’s classic “To Tell the Truth,” “Password” “Pyramid” and others. The high-water mark these two pioneers have made in Daytime television is unparalleled and the entire Emmy® Award community stands in appreciation for the immeasurable contribution they have made to the Game Show genre.”
Emcee Monty Hall is one of Daytime Television’s all time beloved Icons. His signature show “Let’s Make a Deal” premiered on NBC in 1963, moving to ABC in 1968, as well as other network and syndication runs in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2003. Since 2009, “Let’s Make a Deal” has shown a resurgence in the national spotlight, running daily on CBS, now in it’s 4th season, hosted by Wayne Brady. It is one of 3 game shows to air in every decade since the 60’s, and Monty Hall has hosted in each decade, including a week of appearances in 2010 at age 88. It is estimated that Monty has hosted over 4,500 episodes. It’s no wonder that his very name and the phrases “Let’s Make a Deal” and “Door #1, Door #2, or Door #3″ are part of the lexicon of American culture.
As co-creator and Executive Producer, Monty’s legacy extends overseas where “Let’s Make a Deal” has been had long running versions as well since the 1980’s.
His work in television and radio also includes hosting “Video Village” for CBS from 1960 to 1963 (and “Video Village Jr.”), “Your First Impression” for NBC in 1963 and “Monitor” on NBC radio in 1960. Monty created and Executive Produced “Split Second” for ABC and syndication in 1986-87.
With one of the highest Q ratings in his era, Monty made numerous guest appearances—usually playing himself–on shows like “The Odd Couple”, “The Dean Martin Show”, “The Love Boat”, “The Wonder Years”, “Arliss”, “Love and War”, and “Love American Style” to name a few, as well as two Prime Time Variety Specials for ABC.
Monty’s life away from television has been as significant as that on the stage. He has raised an estimated $1 Billion dollars through tireless work for a variety of charities. Part of this extraordinary amount came from Monty’s service as President and later Chairman of the Board of Variety Clubs International, the world’s largest children’s charity.
His selfless dedication to charitable causes has resulted in over 500 honorary awards. Few men have FOUR children’s hospital wings named after him, but Monty does at UCLA Medical Center, Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, Mt. Sinai in Toronto, and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
His contribution to the television arts has been acknowledged with THREE Walk of Fames—Hollywood, Canada’s and Palm Springs. He was also Hollywood’s “Honorary Mayor” from 1973-1979.
His native country Canada has recognized his accomplishments with the prestigious national honor, the “Order of Canada” as well as his home province’s “Order of Manitoba”.
Monty Hall has been married to Marilyn Hall for 65 years. He is the proud father of Tony award winning actress Joanna Gleason, Emmy award winning television producer Richard Hall and television executive Sharon Hall.
Stewart’s early broadcasting career included a stint at WNEW-AM in New York City and then at NBC flagship TV and radio stations. In the book “The Box,” the native New Yorker said he got the first spark for “The Price Is Right” during his tenure as a staff producer at WRCA-TV (now WNBCTV) when he happened to observe an auction taking place on 50th Street during his lunch hour. He developed the idea into the working title of “The Auctionaire.”
Stewart joined Goodson-Todman Productions in 1956. Bob created “The Price is Right” using some of the “Auctionaire” concept, which premiered on NBC November 26, 1956, with Bill Cullen as host. It lasted seven years on NBC before being bumped in favor of Monty Hall’s “Let’s Make a Deal” in 1963. After that, “Price” moved to ABC, where it lasted another two years. The “Price is Right” still airs daily on CBS, fifty-six years after its premiere.
CBS’ “To Tell the Truth,” emceed by Bud Collyer, hit the air less than one month after the original “Price” debuted, in December 1956. Stewart said he auditioned the concept to Goodson and his producers by trying to have them guess which one of three men had been in the infantry in World War II and was now managing a grocery store. The original pilot, hosted by Mike Wallace and existing as a kinescope, was titled “Nothing but the Truth.”
Five years later, in 1961, Stewart scored again with “Password,” a word-association guessing game. The show, which was the first game to pair celebrities and civilian contestants, became the top-rated program on daytime TV and popularized the concept of an end-game bonus round (the “Lightning Round”) for additional money. (In June 2008, CBS and FremantleMedia revived the game in an updated big-money format titled “Million Dollar Password” based on Stewart’s original game format. His son, Sande Stewart, served as a creative consultant.
Before “Price” was cancelled in 1965, Stewart left Goodson-Todman to set out on his own in 1964, forming Bob Stewart Productions. His first network program or show as an independent producer, the memory game “Eye Guess,” aired on NBC daytime from January 3, 1966 to September 26, 1969, and featured close friend Bill Cullen, who had emceed “Price,” as host.
Stewart’s biggest success with his own production company, Basada, Inc. (named after his sons Barry, Sande, and David), and one of TV’s most honored and popular game shows, was “Pyramid,” originally hosted by Dick Clark, which, like “Password,” was a word-association game. Its March 26, 1973 premiere on CBS marked the biggest possible cash payoff on a quiz show since the short-lived “100 Grand” in September 1963.
“Pyramid” would have a network run that would span 15 years, off and on, with escalating dollar amounts in the title reflecting increases in the payoff amount over the years. It has proven to be one of the most enduring game shows, airing almost continuously between first-run network or syndicated airings and cable reruns since 1982, when the second CBS version began.
Stewart, known for his sharp wit and quiet generosity to his friends, his loyal staff and numerous philanthropic causes passed away in May, 2012, just a few months short of his 92nd birthday. His son, Sande, will accept the award. During his successful career Bob Stewart was honored with 9 Emmy® Awards as Executive Producer on his shows as well as being inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame.
About The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy® Award for News & Documentary, Sports, Daytime Entertainment, Daytime Creative Arts & Entertainment, Public & Community Service, and Technology & Engineering. NATAS membership consists of broadcast and media professionals represented in 19 regional chapters across the country. Beyond awards, NATAS has extensive educational programs including Regional Student Television and its Student Award for Excellence for outstanding journalistic work by high school students, as well as scholarships, publications, and major activities for both industry professionals and the viewing public. For more information, please visit the website at www.emmyonline.tv.
For More Information:
Paul Pillitteri, Director Communications, NATAS