The journalist-turned-PR man who went on to serve two terms as president of the TV Academy died Wednesday in Oceanside, Calif. Hank Rieger was 95. In 1977, he became the first elected president of ATAS following the split between the East and West Coast factions of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is one of only 11 recipients of the Academy’s Syd Cassyd Award, presented in recognition of long and distinguished service. “Hank Rieger worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the Television Academy,” ATAS Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum said in a statement. “He believed in the Academy’s ability to have a positive impact on the entire entertainment industry, and we are deeply grateful for all he contributed.” The Kansas City, MO, native served in World War II before beginning his career as a journalist with United Press International, playing a key role in breaking the news of Marilyn Monroe’s death. In 1965, he joined NBC’s public relations department, where he worked with many of the biggest stars and execs in television — from Bob Hope, Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson and Milton Berle to Bob Kintner, Grant Tinker, Herb Schlosser and Brandon Tartikoff. He traveled with Hope as the comic entertained U.S. troops overseas and led the publicity team during The Tonight Show‘s move from New York to Los Angeles in 1972. When NBC News writers and reporters went on strike, Rieger filled in for two weeks as an on-air correspondent and host of a weekend political talk show.
TV Academy Names John Landgraf, Michael Lombardo, Steve Mosko, Ted Sarandos, Jay Sures, Nina Tassler To Executive Committee
TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum continues to bring in top TV industry types to the Academy as part of his efforts to modernize the veteran organization and make it more relevant. Rosenblum’s 2014 appointees to the TV Academy’s Executive Committee are FX Networks’ John Landgraf, HBO’s Michael Lombardo, Sony Pictures TV’s Steve Mosko, Netflix’sTed Sarandos, UTA’s Jay Sures, and CBS’ Nina Tassler. Here is the announcement:
NoHo Arts District, CA, January 23, 2014 – Bruce Rosenblum, Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy has announced his 2014 appointees to the Executive Committee. The six appointees are among the most innovative, accomplished and respected executives working in the television industry.
The ill-timed consolidation of the best TV movie and miniseries Emmy categories will likely be short lived. The TV Academy has started a procedure for the two longform categories to be restored for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, putting an end to the category’s two-year merger. “The recommendation has been made to split Outstanding Miniseries or Movie into separate program categories,” a TV Academy spokesperson said in a statement. “This is on the agenda to be discussed at the February 4th Awards Committee meeting.” The move, first reported by TVLine, is the first in a two-step process, with a recommendation first going to the awards committee and then to the Board of Governors for a vote. It was triggered by the so-called “rule of 14″ where more than 14 submissions in a category prompts a discussion of creating a new category and fewer than 14 opens a consolidation conversation. The dramatic drop in miniseries production at the end of the last decade — which resulted in only 2 getting nominated in the best miniseries Emmy category in both 2009 and 2010 — invoked the rule of 14, leading to the February 2011 vote to merge the best TV movie and miniseries categories.
One can argue that when made, that decision was already outdated because by early 2011 the miniseries genre was already coming out of the collapse with a number of solid Emmy contenders that year, including the opening installments of PBS’ Downton Abbey, which started off as a limited series; PBS’ Sherlock and BBC America’s Luther; as well as HBO’s Mildred Pierce, ReelzChannel’s The Kennedys, Sundance Channel’s Carlos and Starz’s The Pillars Of The Earth. But the TV Academy continued combining longform categories.
EXCLUSIVE: Two years ago, Bruce Rosenblum rocked the establishment at the TV Academy with his surprising decision to run for chairman. He won over veteran TV Academy officer Nancy Bradley Wiard to become the first Hollywood heavyweight to lead the organization in almost two decades. Back then, Rosenblum was president of Warner Bros Television Group and in the running to take over Warner Bros Entertainment. Things are different this time around, with Rosenblum out of Warner Bros and leading the TV and digital divisions of Legendary Entertainment. The major career change raised the question whether Rosenblum, whose TV Academy stint was considered by some as a move in support of his candidacy for the top Warner Bros Entertainment job, would go again. Well, it looks like it was more that a strategic move. I’ve learned that Rosenblum will be running for a second term. Nobody would comment as no information about candidates for the various TV Academy elected-officer positions will be disclosed until after the deadline for submitting paperwork October 31.
The rushed nature of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be addressed at a Governors meeting I am assured by someone who said, quite correctly, “we need to stop turning this thing into a track meet”. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Board of Governors repping the Writers Branch). Certainly there was concern during last night’s 3 hour and 40 minute marathon in which winners were given 45 seconds from the time they left their seat in the cavernous Nokia Theatre to reach the stage and make a speech. For many the orchestra started playing them off even before they could get comfortably into the thrust of their thank-yous. One female winner changed her shoes just so she could charge the stage. One poor overweight winner for The Voice had a choice of either pulling up his loose tux in a confused moment where the clock was ticking or dropping his Emmy. He did the latter and broke it, but at least didn’t reveal his underwear. It was that kind of night.
You can’t envy Executive Producer Spike Jones Jr who has to edit this show down to about an hour and 40 minutes plus commercials for its broadcast next Saturday on the 3-week-old FXX. And considering the very dirty material of some presenters such as (a hilarious) Triumph The Insult Comic Dog (voiced by SNL‘s Robert Smigel) and particularly a very unfunny and out-of- control Gilbert Gottfried, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences had better hope there are a few more X’s after the FXX logo to accommodate the blue humor.
June Foray‘s 80-year career has including voicing Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale on The Bullwinkle Show, Nell Fenwick on The Dudley Do-Right Show, Cindy Lou Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Tweety and Sylvester’s owner Granny …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
(SPOILER ALERT! This report outlines news events that are covered in Season 2 of HBO’s The Newsroom.) Creator-showrunner Aaron Sorkin took the wraps off a chunk of the forthcoming second season of his controversial HBO journalism drama tonight as a gift to voting members of the TV Academy, hoping that a little sneak peek will help win them over just as Emmy balloting gets underway. During an event at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Sorkin described that clip of The Newsroom as the first 15 minutes of the new campaign. “When I was wondering which clip to show, our costume designer said, ‘Well, you know nothing ever really happens in the first 15 minutes of everything you write’,” Sorkin quipped. That convinced him that he wouldn’t be leaking too many spoilers in what the packed house saw. However, it did reveal one or two.
SPOILER ALERT! The new season kicks off with a present-day deposition involving the lawyer portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in a guest turn and features Jane Fonda returning as the CEO of the show’s fictional network parent company. It then flashes back to Aug. 23, 2011, and the beginning of Mohammar Gadhafi’s fall in Libya. If possible, the pacing is even faster rat-a-tat-tat and adrenalin-infused than it was in its inaugural season. Sample dialogue: Lawyer: “Fourteen months after you went on the air, you called the Tea Party ‘The American Taliban.’ What happened?” Anchor: “The Taliban resented it.”
Related: TV TEASER: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’
Alan Perris, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Academy Foundation longtime Chief Operating Officer, will retire at the end of the year. His departure is expected to widen the vacuum at the top of the TV Academy as chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum is not likely to seek a second term. Perris, who joined the TV Academy in early 2006 and upon his retirement will have served in his current role for eight years, announced his retirement internally to the Academy’s Executive Committee and Board of Governors in February, the TV Academy said.
Six more names were formally inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences‘ distinguished Hall Of Fame on Monday night in front of a packed audience at the Beverly Hilton. Joining the 140-plus TV legends who are already members were Les Moonves, Ron Howard, Al Michaels, Bob Schieffer, Dick Wolf and, at long last, a posthumous recognition of TV inventor Philo T. Farnsworth. Among those on the selection committee this year were Marcy Carsey, Bonnie Hammer, Rick Rosen, Fred Silverman and Nina Tassler.
Easily the highest honor the Academy can bestow (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Board Of Governors repping the Writers Branch), these new inductees can count on seeing their busts enshrined in front of the Academy’s North Hollywood headquarters, immortalized forever. But last night’s (ironically) non-televised event was a loose and lively affair that had a warm feeling and might be called the TV Acad’s version of the Motion Picture Academy’s Governors Awards. It was a heartfelt shout-out to some of TV’s most accomplished names, and the move to the larger Beverly Hilton International Ballroom this year confirmed its growning importance to the community. Tickets were higher priced and more industryites showed than in recent years. For instance, even though they weren’t there as part of the show, Mark Harmon, James Burrows, Chuck Lorre, Michael Eisner and George Lucas in addition to many others were among the audience members cheering on the new inductees.
NoHo Arts District, Calif. – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Committee has selected a distinguished group of television innovators and icons to be inducted into the 22nd Hall of Fame. Additionally, for the first time ever, this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will benefit the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television.
This year’s honorees include Emmy®-winning actor/director/producer Ron Howard, legendary sportscaster Al Michaels, iconic network executive Leslie Moonves, acclaimed journalist Bob Schieffer and prolific writer-producer Dick Wolf. Additionally, Philo T. Farnsworth, credited with inventing all-electronic television transmission, will be inducted posthumously. The inductees will be honored during a gala ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 11, 2013, which is sponsored by Audi®. The Hall of Fame gala will be executive produced by noted television producer Phil Gurin (Oh Sit!, Shark Tank, The Singing Bee).
The 6th annual Television Academy Honors is accepting entries for programming that aired from January 1-October 31 until December 14 (the deadline for programming that aired from November 1-December 31 is January 14). Entries can be submitted for fiction/nonfiction …
NoHo Arts District, CA August 29th, 2012 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors has voted to bestow its prestigious Governors Award this year upon the “It Gets Better Project™,” an organization devoted to supporting LGBT young people via its website, initiatives and the posting of original videos with messages of empathy, encouragement and hope for a positive future. The announcement was made by Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum.
Created in 1978, the Governors Award salutes an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television. A Governors Award Selection Committee presents up to seven candidates for the Board of Governors’ review and final vote. There is a possibility of one or no award every year. The award will be presented to the “It Gets Better Project” co-founders Dan Savage and Terry Miller during the 2012 Creative Arts Emmy® Awards on Saturday, September 15th, at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.
“The It Gets Better Project is a great example of strategically, creatively and powerfully utilizing the media to educate and inspire,” said Rosenblum. “This is television moving well beyond the traditional physical set in the viewer’s living room to the intimacy of the monitor, laptop, tablet or mobile device and delivering the ideal mix of inspiration and creativity to affect awareness and, ultimately, change. The Academy is proud to celebrate the success the Project is already having on LGBT youth, and, to hopefully, drive more visibility for this important cause.”