The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Aug. 14 that it has elected Lily Tomlin as a new governor of its Performers Peer Group. Tomlin replaces the late actor Kathryn Joosten ("The West Wing, "Desperate Housewives"), who died in June, on the Academy's Board of Governors. She will serve out the remainder of Joosten's term, which ends in December.
Tomlin is a Grammy, Tony, and six-time Emmy award winner who will next be seen playing Reba McEntire's mom on the upcoming ABC comedy series "Malibu Country." Emmy-nominated actor Bob Bergen is also a governor of the Television Academy's Performers Peer Group.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Murray and David McKillop have been elected as the first governors for the new Reality Programming Peer Group, which was created after the Academy's Board of Governors voted in favor earlier this year. McKillop's term will end in December 2012, while Murray's term will end in December 2013.
Murray is the chairman of Bunim/Murray Productions and has created groundbreaking reality series including "The Real World," "Road Rules," "Project Runway," and "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." McKillop currently oversees the development, creation, and execution of all programming for A&E and Bio, where he is executive vice president of programming. He previously developed original unscripted programming for History and Discovery Channel.
As part of the creation of the new Reality Programming Peer Group, the existing Nonfiction Programming Peer Group has been renamed as the Documentary Programming Peer Group and includes only nonfiction documentarians. Reality TV producers and documentarians together comprised the membership of the Nonfiction Programming Peer Group, which has now been divided in recognition of the different programming and production processes for each genre. Mark Samels and Dan Birman, who were the governors for the Nonfiction Programming Peer Group, will continue to serve as governors for the Documentary Programming Peer Group.
The more than 15,000 members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are divided into 28 peer groups, which represent television professionals from every field and genre.