"After almost 40 years of working in the business, it's a wonderful culmination, it means that I choose wisely the people I work with," Grant Tinker said backstage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Sunday night, after receiving the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' prestigious Governors Award.
Earlier, during the Emmy ceremonies, NBC's former chairman of the board told the audience to stop its standing ovation after a glowing introduction from actress Betty White. She described the 61-year-old TV producer as the man who founded MTM Enterprises, pioneering such shows as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "WKRP in Cincinnati," "The White Shadow," "Hill Street Blues" and "St. Elsewhere."
Tinker, who engineered NBC's phoenix-like rise to its current position as the top-rated national network, said he found his credits "so yesterday that it all seems kind of final, maybe the end of the book. I had a vague impression that I should have arranged to accept this posthumously--but I couldn't manage that."
Tinker, a one-time advertising executive whose 17-year marriage to Mary Tyler Moore ended in divorce in 1981, said he felt "guilty getting an award for what we all do," adding, "I've never had a job that wasn't at least as much fun as it was work."