I am feeling more optimistic as we begin this year because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It is astounding that it was a year ago that Covid-19 began its rapid spread around the world. It soon became clear that most television production would be suspended as part of the effort to “flatten the curve.”
That is a phrase many of us hadn’t heard before, but it would soon become part of our daily vocabulary, along with such now-familiar terms as social distancing, community spread and, of course, Zoom. Since then, our industry has responded to the pandemic with resilience and creativity.
New technologies have transformed remote production, while comprehensive safety protocols have allowed in-person production to resume in many areas. I could not be prouder of the talented professionals who have kept our industry moving forward, and I am confident that the innovations developed during this time will make television better than ever in the future.
Building that future will require vision, leadership and a lot of hard work, and the Television Academy is committed to helping however we can. Fortunately, we can draw on the experience and expertise of our board of governors and the newly appointed members of our executive committee.
With the insights of this diverse and accomplished group, the Academy will continue to play an integral role in the evolution of our medium.
The new appointees are:
- Gloria Calderón Kellett: an award-winning writer, producer, director and performer, Kellett was most recently cocreator, coshowrunner, executive producer, director and cast member of the beloved comedy One Day at a Time.
- Robert Mills: senior vice-president, alternative series, specials and late-night programming at ABC Entertainment, Mills leads development, current production and specials.
- Dawn Olmstead: CEO and partner of the production and management company Anonymous Content, she previously served as president of Universal Content Productions.
- Issa Rae: a talented performer, writer and producer, Rae created and stars in the hit HBO comedy Insecure, for which she has received multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
- Vernon Sanders: as co-head of television at Amazon Studios, he oversees scripted and unscripted original programming for Prime Video and IMDb TV alongside Albert Cheng.
- Zack Van Amburg: as chief content officer and head of worldwide video for Apple TV+, he is responsible for vision, strategy and all other aspects of programming for the streaming platform.
In addition, the executive committee includes four new representatives elected by the board of governors for the 2021 term: Eva Basler, daytime programming; Kim Coleman, CSA, casting directors; Nicole Marostica, public relations; and Lois Vossen, documentary programming.
The executive committee also welcomes Cris Abrego, chairman of the Americas, Banijay, as well as president and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings; he was recently elected to a two-year term as chair of the Television Academy Foundation.
I can’t wait to get to work with this remarkable group — and the entire board — to provide support and restore prosperity to this industry that means so much to us all.
Chairman and CEO, Television Academy