James Lipton Leaving Inside the Actors Studio

Inside the Actors Studio has been on the air for nearly 25 years. Taped at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University in New York City, the series features the school’s unique and charismatic dean emeritus James Lipton asking in-depth and personal questions to some of the most famous and talented faces that have graced the big and small screen. But now that legacy is coming to an end as James Lipton is retiring from the show, and the series itself is moving away from Bravo.

TV Line has word on James Lipton leaving Inside the Actors Studio, which first began back in 1994 with the legendary Paul Newman as the first guest. Since then, the show has interviewed dozens of stars such as Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Robin Williams. Lipton has also spoken with directors like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, always diving into intimate territory to really get to the core of their talent, whether it’s in front of or behind the camera.

Lipton’s unique interviewing style made him one of the more famous personalities of his kind, so much that he was even parodied on Saturday Night Live, with Will Ferrell doing the perfect exaggerated impression:

So without Lipton, who will host Inside the Actors Studio? There’s no one person who can replace James Lipton, so instead there will be a rotating chair of guest hosts who will take over the job. That might ruin what made Inside the Actors Studio a little bit, especially if they don’t include Lipton’s signature use of the a questionnaire employed by French television personality Bernard Pivot which includes questions like “What is your favorite word?” and “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?”

But that’s not the only change in store for Inside the Actors Studio.

Inside the Actors Studio Moves to Ovation TV

Bravo used to be a network that celebrated and presented the arts, whether it was film, television and theater. But for years now, the channel has become a festering destination for reality television drivel and gossip nonsense. In recent years, Bravo has barely aired reruns of Inside the Actors Studio the way it used to, and new episodes have been few and far between. Thankfully, the show is getting a new home.

Ovation TV, a channel dedicated to providing viewers with diverse arts programming, is picking up Inside the Actors Studio. Lipton himself gave his seal of approval to the change:

“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.”

It’s not clear of Ovation TV will be more generous about playing old episodes of the series than Bravo, but it would be nice if they dug up the archives and started playing older interviews, especially since they’re not easily or readily available anywhere else.

Otherwise, the new season of Inside the Actors Studio without James Lipton will begin in the fall of 2019. The last new episode of the series aired in January this year with Ted Danson as the guest. In 2017, there were only five new episodes. So hopefully this move means we’ll get new episodes more consistently and frequently.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: