TV Land was awarded the exclusive broadcast rights to the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Life Achievement Award, it was announced today by Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land and Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. The four-year agreement commences with the 37th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film, which will be presented to Michael Douglas at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 11th, 2009. The program will air July 19, 2009 on TV Land PRIME, TV Land’s primetime programming block featuring classic television and film.
“We are honored to be TV Land PRIME’s flagship event for a celebration of classic American films,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “With this agreement, the proud tradition of the AFI Life Achievement Award will carry into its 40th year on television, and we look forward to partnering with TV Land PRIME, which shares our mission to honor the art form with the nation and the world.”
“We are thrilled to serve as the new home of the AFI Life Achievement Award,” stated Larry W. Jones, president, TV Land. “It is an honor to be part of this tribute, and we are excited to bring it to our audience, which has followed Mr. Douglas’s remarkable career with great interest.”
About Michael Douglas
Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey to film icon Kirk Douglas and his wife Diana, Michael Douglas followed in his father’s footsteps into the entertainment business. He first made a name for himself starring in the popular television series THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO with Karl Malden, followed by films such as ADAM AT 6 A.M., SUMMERTREE and NAPOLEON AND SAMANTHA.
However, it was his role as producer in the film ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST that cemented his standing in the film community. The 1975 film took home the top five Oscars that year — Best Picture, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Director (Milos Forman) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman). It marked the beginning of a producing career that would prove at times to be as equally rewarding as his acting career.
Douglas followed this success with starring roles in several films such as COMA, IT’S MY TURN and THE CHINA SYNDROME, which he also produced. In the 1980s, Douglas’s popularity grew. As a producer, he gave director Robert Zemeckis his first big hit with ROMANCING THE STONE and his starring role in the film solidified him as a leading man. In 1987, Douglas starred in the year’s two most talked-about movies – Adrien Lyne’s FATAL ATTRACTION with Glenn Close and Anne Archer, and Oliver Stone’s WALL STREET with Charlie Sheen. It was the role as financier Gordon Gekko which garnered him the Best Actor Academy Award.
The 1990s were just as good to Douglas, starring opposite Sharon Stone in Paul Verhooven’s 1992 hit BASIC INSTINCT the sexually charged thriller that broke established taboos on the big screen. Other starring roles in the 1990s included FALLING DOWN, DISCLOSURE and Rob Reiner’s THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, in which he played the president. In 1997, Douglas produced the hugely popular FACE/OFF, directed by John Woo and starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. In 1999, he narrated the Oscar-winning documentary ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER and starred in WONDER BOYS with Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey, Jr., and Katie Holmes, directed by Curtis Hanson.
In 2000, Douglas starred in Steven Soderbergh’s widely-acclaimed TRAFFIC, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Douglas co-starred with Albert Brooks in a remake of the 1979 film THE IN-LAWS and in 2006 he starred in THE SENTINEL and YOU, ME AND DUPREE, followed by the 2007 film KING OF CALIFORNIA.
Douglas will soon be seen in Peter Hyams’s courtroom thriller BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT and Mark Waters’ comedy GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST with Matthew McConaughy and Jennifer Garner.
About the AFI Life Achievement Award
The highest honor for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees on February 26, 1973. It is presented to a single honoree each year based on the following criteria as mandated through a resolution passed by the AFI Board of Trustees:
“The recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time.”
Former recipients include Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Sean Connery, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand and Harrison Ford, dating back to 1973 when John Ford received the first AFI honor.
About the American Film Institute
AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media.
AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, preserves the legacy of America’s film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, and explores new digital technologies at AFI’s Digital Content Lab. For 37 years, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film. AFI’s 100 Years … series has introduced and reintroduced millions of film lovers to classic American movies. And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI’s festivals include AFI FEST presented by Audi in Los Angeles, the AFI Dallas International Film Festival Presented by NorthPark, Founding Sponsor Victory Park, and SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland, while offering year-round programming at the ArcLight Theaters and Skirball Center in Los Angeles, and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in the Washington, DC area. Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.