Congrats to WMA's Mark Itkin (pictured) on his appointment as chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame selection committee. Mark's a good guy who loves television, which is a good thing given that his day job is serving as WMA exec veep and worldwide co-head of television. He's been a top agent in the syndication/reality/non-fiction TV biz for a long time, and he's been involved with ATAS for years, so he ought to bring some interesting ideas to the table as to worthy inductees. As On the Air readers already know, there's a very determined woman in Watertown, N.Y. who wants to see the late Bill Bixby get his long-overdue due from the TV Acad (click here if you concur). The most recent batch of names getting the bust-and-plaque treatment from the Hall of Fame last year were Tom Brokaw, James Burrows, Leonard Goldberg, Regis Philbin and William Shatner. Acad plans to sit out this year but come back at it with a spiffed-up event in 2008.
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Bill Bixby (pictured far left) was one of those actors who seemed to be everywhere on TV when I was a kid: "Courtship of Eddie's Father" reruns, "Love, American Style" reruns, "My Favorite Martian" reruns, countless TV movies and series guest shots, and, of course, "The Incredible Hulk," a show that was well-placed on CBS' Friday night sked so that pre-teens could stay up for it. (I'm not too proud to admit that it scared me when I was about 8.)
Bixby died young, at age 59 in November 1993, the victim of a late diagnosis of prostate cancer. He was nominated three times for Emmy glory during his 30 years in television -- once for "Courtship" and twice in 1976, for a guest shot on "The Streets of San Francisco," and for his role in the mammoth hit mini "Rich Man, Poor Man." But for all of his work as an actor and director (his interest in helming began during his "Martian" chronicles), Bixby never took home the gold. Renee Tufo thinks this is just plain wrong.