After nearly two and a half decades, James Lipton has announced his retirement as host of Inside the Actors Studio. Since 1994, the acclaimed writer and actor is calling it quits. But the show must go on, and as such, the series will continue on a new network with a rotating list of guests hosts who will continue to interview actors from all walks of the entertainment industry.
Starting in 1994, James Lipton has been interviewing some of the biggest names in Hollywood in front of the Actors Studio MFA program at Pace University. Lipton actually serves as the dean emeritus of the program at the university. But after 23 seasons, the man has decided to hang it up and will move on to other things, like possibly relaxing or taking a break. Inside the Actors Studio will move from Bravo to Ovation starting in fall 2019. Here's what Lipton had to say in a statement.
"It's very gratifying to see the legacy of Inside the Actors Studio being carried forward for a new generation to appreciate and enjoy. I made a vow early on that we would not deal in gossip, only in craft, and Ovation, as a network dedicated 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."
Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, James Gandolfini, Robin Williams, the entire main voice cast of The Simpsons and many others were interviewed by James Lipton over the years. During his run, the show was nominated for 20 Emmys and won in 2013 for outstanding informational series or special. The casts of hosts for next year's version of Inside the Actors Studio at Ovation have yet to be announced, neither have the guests at this point in time. As for whether or not Lipton will be involved in some form? Scott Woodward, executive VP of programming and production at Ovation, had this to say.
"James Lipton's future involvement will be determined based on his availability. But we'd love to have him involved."
It's interesting that Inside the Actors Studio will be the thing that James Lipton will always be remembered for. The man recently turned 92, which makes it more than reasonable that he's returning. But it also means he was far from a young man when he started hosting the series. Who knew you could find the most successful and well-regarded part of your career at an age when most people are thinking about retiring? In addition to his duties as host, Lipton also served as a writer and executive producer on the series. He'll be impossible to replace and luckily, Ovation seems to know that. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.