HRTS Goes to the Emmys
Now that the dust has settled from Emmy season, here’s an inside scoop: the HRTS was there.
The HRTS and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) are the two premiere groups in the television industry. From executives to actors to writers and directors and producers, the two groups consist of thousands of members who are in the business, thousands of members who are the business.
The partnership between the HRTS and the ATAS goes back many years and includes numerous events created and produced together, such as the State of the Industry luncheon and other Newsmaker luncheons. In addition to the events, there are myriad personal connections from Board leaders to staff colleagues to dual-members.
The Primetime Emmys are the biggest event on the TV industry calendar and the HRTS was there to represent the business side of the industry. When an actor or writer or director wins an Emmy, these are the rows of people who stand and applaud enthusiastically, the people who partnered with the actors and writers and directors to make the shows possible, the people who nurtured their talent to make the shows great. Hillary Clinton famously said that “it takes a village to raise a child” and if that’s true of the development of a single person then think of how many more people it takes to raise a show, when hundreds of people are involved both in front of and behind the camera.
Uzo Aduba won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, a show produced by HRTS members Lionsgate and Netflix. She made a point of personally thanking her team members, saying “thank you to our family at Netflix and Lionsgate. You all are incredible. I love you so much for your kindness. Thank you, Cindy. Thank you, Ted. Thank you, Neri. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Trim. Thank you, Nina. Thank you, Peter”.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, her show produced by HRTS member HBO, and she thanked her longtime partners “Richard Plepler, Mike Lombardo, Casey Bloys, for their never-ending support; in fact, their friendship. Imagine that”.
GAME OF THRONES won Outstanding Drama Series and in accepting their award, co-creator David Benioff said “thank you to HBO, in their wisdom, paired a couple of novice producers with people of experience. We want to thank them. They're standing behind us, Bernie Caulfield, Chris Newman, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss. We would -- you know, you're the reason we're up here. And finally, just thanks again HBO for believing in dragons”. Backstage, he elaborated on his acceptance speech, saying “when we first talked to George about doing this, the books were sent to us to do as feature films and when we started reading them we realized that they were just way too complex to possibly do them justice as features. The first conversation we had was about bringing it to HBO, long before HBO knew about it, because it’s the only place we could imagine it working” and “we know a lot of people who do what we do in one way or another, and every single one of them is jealous of the way we get to work at HBO”.
The biggest surprise of the night, the one that had HRTS members buzzing the next day, was the triumphant return of Tracy Morgan, a man recovering from a near-fatal car accident. Taking the stage to a boisterous standing ovation, Morgan said “thanks to my amazing doctors and the support of my family and my beautiful new wife, I’m here. Standing on my own two feet”. Backstage, Morgan spoke from the heart about his traumatic brain injury, his rehab and his promise to his fiancée that he would get better so that he could walk her down the aisle. If you’d like to hear his story in his own words, click below:
At HRTS luncheons we hear about the power of content, how no matter the distribution or monetization, it always comes down to the content and so it’s clear that the business side cannot exist without the creative side. It’s equally clear that the abundance of talented men and women across the country and around the world thrive when partnered with people who nurture their talent during development, production and distribution, a symbiotic partnership to make the shows great. It’s a symbiotic partnership that mirrors the one between the HRTS and the ATAS. Thank you to the team at the TV Academy for including us in the festivities, already looking forward to next year.