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CBS Renews ‘Kennedy Center Honors’ Telecast Rights Through 2025

Variety logo Variety 12/5/2016 Cynthia Littleton
© Provided by Variety

CBS has renewed its deal to carry the annual “Kennedy Center Honors” telecast through 2025.

The extension, announced Sunday during the presentation of this year’s awards in Washington, D.C., will take the show into its 47th year on CBS, which has been the sole broadcaster to carry the event since its inception in 1978.

The Kennedy Center kudos are among the nation’s most prestigious laurels for those active in the performing arts. The 39th annual “Kennedy Center Honors” is set to air Dec. 27.

“The Kennedy Center Honors is the most prestigious award given to artists in America,” said CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves. “We are proud that we will continue to broadcast this award-winning telecast for many years to come. It is also a privilege to extend this incredible 39-year partnership with the amazing team at The Kennedy Center, and continue to honor and celebrate our greatest performing artists well into the next decade.”

Added Jack Sussman, CBS’ exec VP of specials, music and live events: “The Kennedy Center Honors is one of the most unique television events of the year, bringing together extraordinary talents from around the world to honor exceptional contributions to the performing arts.”

The event, held at the Kennedy Center Opera House, is one of the glitziest gatherings of the year for the Beltway set, traditionally drawing the President and first lady. The main ceremony is preceded by receptions at the White House and State Department.

This year’s honorees are: pianist Martha Argerich, actor Al Pacino, veteran rockers the Eagles and singers Mavis Staples and James Taylor.

“Next year we’ll be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Honors and we look forward to working with CBS to build on its legacy of paying tribute to our most talented performing artists, those who have left an indelible mark on our society’s cultural fabric and continue to surprise and inspire us all,” said Kennedy Center chairman David Rubinstein.

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