The Baltimore Sun


Creator of TV's 'It's Academic'

Television producer Sophie Altman, who created the long-running quiz show It's Academic, pitting teams of high school students against each other, died of heart disease Saturday at Georgetown University Medical Center, said her daughter, Nancy Altman of Bethesda.

Altman was 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 Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and several other cities; at one point more than 20 cities had their own versions.

"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."

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