TV Land announced today that it will pay tribute to “M*A*S*H,” “Married with Children,” “Home Improvement,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Knots Landing” and “Two and a Half Men” at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother,” Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and Assassins), the two-hour show will tape on Sunday, April 19th at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City and will air on TV Land during a special presentation of TV Land PRIME on Sunday, April 26th at 8PM ET/PT.
All of this year’s honorees are cultural icons representing a cross-section of classic and modern television that viewers love. The Legacy of Laughter Award will be presented to television actress and “Seinfeld” alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus. “M*A*S*H” will be honored with the Impact Award. The Innovator Award will be given to the unconventional Fox sitcom “Married with Children.” The classic CBS soap opera “Knots Landing” celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and will be recognized for its place in television history. The Fan Favorite Award will be presented to “Home Improvement,” and the action drama “Magnum P.I.” — which launched the career of Tom Selleck as a leading actor — will be bestowed with the Hero Award. Finally, the hit sitcom “Two and a Half Men” will be awarded the Future Classic Award.
Below are details on this year’s honorees:
THE LEGACY OF LAUGHTER AWARD
This award is presented to an entertainer whose comedic work continues to serve as an inspiration and a guiding force. This year’s recipient is Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Julia Louis-Dreyfus got her first career breakthrough as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” Whether it was her dry wit comedy or that feisty shove with the catch phrase “Get out!” on “Seinfeld,” or her hilarious take on portraying a single mother trying to raise her son — and to her dismay learns that her ex-husband is seeing a much younger women named Christine — hence the name of her hit comedy “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s comedy always delivers. The recipient of the Legacy of Laughter award serves as an ideal appreciation to those who have provided the invigorating healing power of laughter. The first recipient to have received such an award was Lucille Ball for her awe-inspiring work which continues to set a precedent for those who receive this great honor.
THE IMPACT AWARD
This award is given to a show that offered both entertainment and enlightenment, always striving for both humor and humanity, with comedy that reflected reality. This year’s recipient is “M*A*S*H.”
Based on the 1970 Robert Altman film of the same name, “M*A*S*H” revolves around life at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. The show stars Alan Alda as Dr. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce and Wayne Rogers as Dr. “Trapper” John McIntyre, two brilliant surgeons often pre-occupied with attractive nurses, practical jokes and merry-making. Their relaxed approach is a source of consternation for other medical staffers including Dr. Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and Lt. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit), whose secret love affair is no secret. During the fourth season, there were significant changes in the medical staff including B.J. Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell), who debuted as the new surgeon and replaced Trapper as Hawkeye’s teammate and co-conspirator.
THE FAN FAVORITE AWARD
The Fan Favorite is awarded to an All-American classic that won the hearts of television viewers, with characters who became our friends, stories we could all relate to and irresistible laughs. The 2009 Fan Favorite is “Home Improvement.”
Launching stand-up comedian Tim Allen into a full-force television star, “Home Improvement” was one of ABC’s most popular family comedies during the 1990s. The sitcom centered on local celebrity Tim Taylor (Tim Allen), who hosted the fictional series “Tool Time” along with his assistant Al (Richard Karn). At home, Tim was a bit of klutz when it came to handling tools and fixing things around the house that he shared with his wife Jill(Patricia Richardson) and his three sons Brad, Randy and Mark (Zachery Ty Bryan, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Taran Noah Smith), providing endless laughs.
THE HERO AWARD
The Hero Award salutes a lead character whose crime-solving feats were astounding, yet remained thoroughly authentic, offering equal parts of street smarts, wit and charisma — in this case, all wrapped up in floral prints. This year’s recipient is “Magnum P.I.
“Magnum, P.I.” starred Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a detective living in Hawaii. Magnum guards the estate of a wealthy writer, Robin Master (who viewers never saw), and when he wasn’t working, he was romancing the ladies or tooling around with the amenities of the estate. However, the one mystery that he never seemed to solve was whether or not Jonathan Higgins III (John Hillerman) was Robin Masters!
THE INNOVATOR AWARD
This award is presented to a series whose influence is still felt and evident in television today. It is most exemplified by a show that carved out new territory, re-defining elements of the genre and opening pathways for others to follow. TV Land will honor “Married with Children” as this year’s recipient.
One of the first primetime and controversial sitcoms that established FOX as a legitimate network, “Married with Children” redefined the meaning of a tight-knit family and also helped break barriers for comedies to continue to discuss unsuitable topics, much like “All in the Family” did in the late 1970s. The comedy focused on Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill), a bigoted, dim-witted shoe salesman unlucky in life, and his wife, Peg (Katey Segal), a housewife who didn’t do much except shop and style her highly coiffed red hair while dispensing her signature brand of sarcasm. Their daughter Kelly (Christina Applegate) was the hot, blonde airhead while their son Bud (David Faustino) was the unsuccessful bad boy. Along with their dog Buck, the Bundys often bickered with their obnoxious neighbor Marcy (Amanda Bearse), her ex-husband Steve (David Garrison) and later — Marcy’s second husband Jefferson (Ted McGinley).
THE ANNIVERSARY AWARD
TV Land will celebrate “Knots Landing’s” 30th Anniversary as one of the longest-running primetime soap-operas in television history. With its unpredictable storylines, intriguing characters and surprising plots, it charmed audiences and critics alike while creating a pathway for future programs.
Originally conceived as a spin-off of another popular soap-opera — “Dallas” — “Knots Landing” aired on CBS from 1979-1993. Loosely based on the 1973 film “Scenes From a Marriage,” creator David Jacobs developed the drama that focused on the adventures of several families, which included married couple Gary and Valene Ewing (Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark) as they moved from Dallas to the fictional town of Seaview Circle to start a new life. Once on the verge of cancellation, the drama, which starred Ted Shackleford, Joan Van Ark, Don Murray, Michele Lee and Nicollette Sheridan, was saved by critics and viewers who were intrigued with the stories featured in each episode. Today, “Knots Landing” remains a cult classic with reruns airing in syndication across the world.
THE FUTURE CLASSIC AWARD
This award was unveiled by TV Land in 1998 and is presented annually to a show that best exemplifies the qualities of a television show that will stand the test of time and become a television classic. “Two and a Half Men” is this year’s recipient of the Future Classic Award.
“Two and a Half Men” stars Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper, a bachelor whose lifestyle is cut short when his newly separated, uptight brother Alan (Jon Cryer) moves in along with his son, Jake (Angus T. Jones). If that’s not enough, Charlie and Alan’s narcissistic mother — played by Holland Taylor — decides she wants to spend more time with her boys. Alan’s ex- wife Judith (Marin Hinkle) and the slightly crazy and Charlie-obsessed neighbor Rose (Melanie Lynskey) also help provide laughter amid the typical family drama all while Charlie, Alan and Jake continue to form a tighter bond.