Directors Guild of America president Paris Barclay announced that directors James Burrows and Robert Butler will be the first recipients of a new DGA Award, the lifetime achievement award for distinguished achievement in television direction.
“For those out there who’ve wondered what kind of impact a television director can have on the medium, Jim Burrows and Bob Butler provide the answers,” said Barclay. “That’s why we’re beyond thrilled to establish a new award, and to inaugurate it with two men who have had an incomparable influence over decades of precedent-setting television directing. Jim, who will soon helm his 1,000th television episode, remains one of the most in-demand pilot directors in the business, having long since established his deft comedic touch on shows like Taxi, Cheers, Friends, Will & Grace and The Big Bang Theory. Bob set the tone and broke the rules on pilots for Hogan’s Heroes, Star Trek, Batman, Hill Street Blues and Moonlighting. They have truly changed the face of television.”
This new award was created this year and will join the guild’s lifetime achievement award for distinguished achievement in motion picture direction in being the two highest honors bestowed by the DGA. In the guild’s 78-year history, only 34 directors have been recognized with the lifetime achievement awards, including Cecil B. DeMille (the award’s first recipient in 1953), Frank Capra (1959), Alfred Hitchcock (1968), Stanley Kubrick (1997), Steven Spielberg (2000) and Milos Forman (2013).
“I am honored and touched to receive this inaugural DGA lifetime achievement award in television directing,” Burrows said. “I’m proud to accept this award in conjunction with Robert Butler, who I respect for his incredible work in television. To be lucky enough to work with great writers and actors is a blessing, but this is unbelievable.”
The awards will be presented at the 67th annual DGA Awards on Feb. 7, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.