Producer Sophie Altman dies at 95

Television producer Sophie Altman, who created the long-running quiz show It’s Academic, pitting teams of high school students against each other, has died. She was 95.

WASHINGTON — Television producer Sophie Altman, who created the long-running quiz show It’s Academic, pitting teams of high school students against each other, has died. She was 95.

Altman died of heart disease Saturday at Georgetown University Medical Centre, said her daughter, Nancy Altman of Bethesda, Md.

Altman was already a seasoned TV producer in 1961 when she started It’s Academic in the Washington area.

The quiz show is entering its 48th season in Washington and there are local versions in several other cities; at one point more than 20 cities had their own versions.

The show — reminiscent of the GE College Bowl that ran on network TV in the 1960s — tests brainy high school students on an array of subjects.

“She had the idea that it would be really nice if academic achievement had the same accolades as the heroes on the football field,” Nancy Altman said. “If you got a right answer it was like you got a touchdown.”

Among the competitors the show attracted were future Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer; astronaut Timothy Creamer; Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Chabon; and ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, according to Altman’s family and the show’s Web site.

Topics used in It’s Academic questions changed over the years, particularly in literature, as high school reading assignments evolved.

Versions of It’s Academic are running under various names in Baltimore, Charlottesville, Va., Cleveland, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and San Diego.

Just Posted

Global FMX riders perform heart-stopping stunts at Red Deer’s Westerner Days

‘I wanted to see how far I could push myself and my machine,’ says rider

Oil and gas well cleanup costs could hit $65 billion: industry watchdog group

Alberta government urged to undertake detailed review of cleanup costs

Fatal disease strikes Alberta sheep

Scrapie detected on two Alberta farms

UCP candidate fined $70,000

Penalty against Jeff Callaway is for two dozen separate offences

Critics and industry clash over accuracy of Alberta well cleanup cost estimates

CALGARY — An Alberta coalition that says oil and gas producers are… Continue reading

Man shouting ‘You die’ kills 33 at Japan anime studio

TOKYO — A man screaming “You die!” burst into an animation studio… Continue reading

Documents shed light on seniors poverty figures used by federal Liberals

OTTAWA — Internal government documents say that many of the 57,000 seniors… Continue reading

High court won’t hear NDP expenses case over mailings, offices

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court may have just killed off the NDP’s… Continue reading

Justin Trudeau takes aim at NDP over EU-Canada trade pact as summit wraps up

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling out New Democrats after… Continue reading

Defence calling no evidence in case of German tourist shot west of Calgary

CALGARY — The defence is calling no evidence on behalf of a… Continue reading

Tale of two libraries: Edmonton design backlash morphs into rivalry with Calgary

EDMONTON — The pitched reaction to Edmonton’s remodelled downtown library has morphed… Continue reading

Mountain pine beetle makes its way into Ponoka County

Assar Grinde has a special attachment to the pine trees that line… Continue reading

Most Read