James Burrows and Robert Butler will be the first recipients of the Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction, the guild announced Thursday.
“They’ve shaped the history of television in ways too numerous to calculate, including directing the pilots for some of the most iconic television shows ever,” DGA President Paris Barclay said.
The new award will become a sister honor to the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction, which has been presented to 34 people in the guild’s 78-year history. Burrows and Butler will be honored during the 67th annual DGA Awards on Feb. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
Burrows is likely best known for co-creating “Cheers,” but his directing credits include television classics such as “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Taxi,” “Frasier,” “Friends,” “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory.” He won the DGA Award for comedy series directing four times — twice for “Cheers” and once each for “Frasier” and “Will & Grace.”
Butler began his directing career in 1960 and has directed pilot episodes of shows including “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Star Trek,” “Batman,” “Remington Steele,” “Hill Street Blues” and “Moonlighting.” He has also directed episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Untouchables” and “The Fugitive.”
He won the DGA Award for dramatic television directing for “The Waltons” in 1973 and for “Hill Street Blues” in 1984.
— City News Service