Inside The Actors Studio is moving to a new home — but long-time host James Lipton won’t be doing the interviews.
After 22 seasons, Lipton, who was also the series’ creator and executive producer, is stepping down from his role in front of the camera. The show will utilize rotating guest hosts when it debuts on Ovation TV in fall 2019.
“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 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.”
The series began in 1994 on Bravo, with Lipton interviewing over 200 actors, directors, screenwriters and more about their craft, concluding with the famous Proust questionnaire, a list of 10 personality questions, each time. Paul Newman, a former Actors Studio president, was the show’s first televised guest, and Lipton went on to interview such stars as Sally Field, Alec Baldwin, Brad Pitt, Sydney Pollack, Carol Burnett, Jessica Lange, Julia Roberts, Willem Dafoe, Billy Crystal, Shirley MacLaine, Meryl Streep, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Jeremy Irons, Barbra Streisand, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and many more.
Inside the Actors Studio has received 20 Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Informational Series or Special category, and won the category in 2013. Lipton also won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Host in 2015.
Former guest Ellen Burstyn also praised the show’s updated direction.“Over the years this series has had a profound impact on the Studio’s MFA program at Pace University,” Burstyn said. “I know my co-presidents, Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino, and our Board of Directors, share my enthusiasm that Ovation has come on board to continue this enduring legacy.”
A Star Is Born director and star Bradley Cooper famously appeared on an episode of the series as a young student, asking Robert De Niro a question in 1999, before eventually becoming a guest himself in 2011.