via press release:
CBS and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced today a new agreement that will keep the annual KENNEDY CENTER HONORS broadcast on CBS through 2018. The new deal further extends one of the longest broadcast partnerships in television history. The special has been broadcast on CBS each year since its debut in 1978.
“The Kennedy Center Honors continues to be one of the most prestigious broadcasts on all of television, and we are honored to be its host,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation. “It is a unique event that reinforces our country's collective appreciation for the performing arts with tremendous class, style and, yes, entertainment. We are proud to join forces with the Kennedy Center and our friends in Washington to continue presenting this annual event.”
“We are pleased to renew this commitment with CBS,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “Every year, the broadcast of the KENNEDY CENTER HONORS brings millions of arts lovers into the nation’s center for the performing arts. We value and respect the strong commitment of Leslie Moonves and CBS to the performing arts and look forward to honoring the best of the arts in America.”
Each year, in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Operastage, the Kennedy Center Honorees are saluted by great performers from Hollywood and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President and First Lady, the recipients accept the thanks of their peers and fans through performances and heartfelt tributes.
The Kennedy Center Honorees are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts — whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television — and are selected by the Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.
In 2011, the KENNEDY CENTER HONORS was awarded the Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy Special for the third consecutive year. Over the years, the broadcast has been awarded a total of eight Emmys. The program has also been recognized with the Peabody Award for Outstanding Meritorious Service to Broadcasting, and seven awards from the Writers Guild of America.
George Stevens, Jr. co-created the KENNEDY CENTER HONORS in 1978 with Nick Vanoff, and has produced and co-written the show for 34 years. Michael Stevens has produced and co-written the show for the past five years.