From the Chairman
Every new year brings the promise of both challenges and opportunities, and as 2018 — my second year as Television Academy chairman — unfolds, I will continue to work with the executive committee and board of governors to chart a prudent, proactive and productive course for this organization.
As you’ve probably noticed, our industry is busier than ever since the turn of the year. What’s behind the heightened activity? Of course, programming has never been more abundant. As was reported at the Television Critics Association panels in January, 487 scripted series aired in 2017 — up from 455 in 2016. At that pace, scripted series will surpass 500 this year.
To put this in context, television shows have increased by 69 percent since 2012, and total series output since 2002 has ballooned by 168 percent. That’s heady news — not just for those of us who work in television, but for everyone who watches it. From an economic perspective, this is clearly a boon.
More companies producing more programming means greater employment at all levels of production, plus increased activity for the many businesses providing ancillary services to all of those shows. From a creative perspective, it means more opportunities for storytellers. And for viewers, it means more choices — from more diverse voices — than ever before.
This was evident at the TCA meetings with the introduction of several new shows from an array of diverse creators, marking welcome progress in our industry’s — and our society’s — move toward greater inclusion and a medium that more accurately reflects the world around us. This continued programming surge also influenced the For Your Consideration calendar for this year’s Emmy Awards.
Screenings, panels and other FYC events, which previously began in April, will now kick off the week of February 26. We have also expanded the number of events overall by adding more weekend dates. In addition, the Academy’s online viewing platform will open a month earlier than before, on March 1.
These changes will offer increased occasions for programmers to interact with Academy members prior to nominations voting. Speaking of our membership, to accommodate the many qualified television professionals who have sought to join the Academy in recent years, our board of governors expanded eligibility for several peer groups, including the addition of colorists to Picture Editors and personal publicists to Professional Representatives.
As I noted when these changes were announced, the Academy seeks to reflect in its membership the diverse professions and voices of those working in the television industry. This is an ongoing effort — one that we will continue to pursue with vigor throughout 2018.
And, as always, we will continue to provide thought leadership, networking opportunities, stimulating entertainment and professional development events and, yes, awards ceremonies, culminating with the 70th Emmy Awards on Monday, September 17, to be telecast live on NBC.
Chairman and CEO Television Academy