James Lipton, 92, Is Leaving His Iconic Show Inside The Actors Studio After Nearly 25 Years
James Lipton is leaving Inside The Actors Studio after nearly 25 years on the air.
The announcement was made by Ovation TV on Monday. The show, which focuses on in-depth interviews with famous actors and actresses about their craft and careers, will be moving to Ovation TV from Bravo.
Lipton, 92, created the show in 1994 and has served as the host and executive producer since it’s inception. He will not be handling hosting duties and instead will be handing over the microphone to a rotating list of guest hosts.
“It’s very gratifying to see the legacy of Inside The Actors Studio being carried forward for a new generation to appreciate and enjoy,” Lipton said in a statement. “I made a vow early on that we would not deal in gossip — only in craft, and Ovation, as a network to the arts, will continue that tradition with the next seasons of the series. I’m excited to see the new hosts engage with the guests and students and continue to entertain viewers in the U.S. and around the world.”
Lipton has interviewed over 200 guests on the show, which began with Paul Newman who served as the Actors Studio president at the time.
The show is a craft seminar for students of The Actors Studio MFA program at Pace University. Actors Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino, and Alec Baldwin serve as co-presidents of the studio’s MFA program.
The series has been nominated for 20 Emmy Awards in the outstanding informational series or special category and received the Emmy in 2013.
A-list actors who have appeared on the show include George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Al Pacino, Barbara Streisand, Clint Eastwood, as well as directors such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.
Cooper, 43, was a student of The Actors Studio and was featured on the show asking questions from the audience to Sean Penn and Robert De Niro. The actor returned to the show as a guest in 2011 where he got emotional when talking about his time as a student.
In June 2016, Lipton told Steve Adubato in an interview about his favorite moment on the show, saying, “For decades, I was asked what guest do you want the most? You know what my answer was? The night that one of our graduated students has achieved so much that he comes back to our stage and sits next to me as my guest. And Bradley was the one.”
Lipton often ended his interviews with the famous Proust questionnaire — a list of 10 personality questions that delved into favorite words, quirks and what they imagined God would say to them if they entered Heaven.
Inside The Actors Studio premieres in the Fall of 2019.