Kennedy Center Honors Co-Creator George Stevens Jr. Stepping Down as Producer

Stevens has produced the ceremony, broadcast on CBS each year, since its inception in 1978

George Stevens, Jr.
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For the first time since its inception in 1978, next year’s 2015 Kennedy Center Honors will be produced by someone other than George Stevens, Jr., who co-created the annual event with Nick Vanoff. The announcement was made at the the 2014 ceremony on Sunday.

The Kennedy Center Honors is the major fundraising event for the Kennedy Center, and is broadcast annually on CBS at the end of each year. This year’s event, Stevens’ last as producer, will be broadcast on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Stevens’s son Michael has worked with him as a co-producer since 2008, but he will also be stepping down.

“This was the last year on George Stevens Jr’s contract and George announced from the stage of the Honors performance tonight that he would be stepping down as producer,” a spokesperson for the Kennedy Center told TheWrap. “The Kennedy Center is enormously grateful for the contributions George and his son Michael have made to the Honors over the years.  The Kennedy Center Honors have grown in stature over the past 37 years to become the preeminent recognition of the performing arts in America.  With tonight’s news, the Kennedy Center will begin a search for an Honors producer that will build upon this strong foundation in the years to come.

In his farewell speech, Stevens praised his son, the artists who have helped select each year’s honorees and the crew that put the event together each year. He received a standing ovation from the Washington crowd, which included President Obama and Michelle Obama.

The ceremony honors five artists who have influenced American culture through their arts. The 2014 honorees are Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride, Lily Tomlin and Sting. Stephen Colbert hosted the gala event.

“The 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” airs Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.