NoHo Arts District, CA, August, 14, 2012 – Six-time Emmy® winner Lily Tomlin has been elected as a Governor of the Television Academy’s Performers Peer Group, serving out the term of Performer Peer Group Governor Kathryn Joosten who passed away in June. This term will end in December of 2012.
Additionally, reality programming veterans Jonathan Murray and David McKillop have been elected as the inaugural Governors for the newly formed Reality Programming Peer Group. Murray will serve a term ending in December of 2013 while McKillop’s term will conclude in December of 2012.
Earlier this year the Television Academy’s Board of Governors voted to approve the creation of the first-ever Reality Programming Peer Group and rename the Nonfiction Programming Peer Group (comprised of the remaining nonfiction documentarians) as the Documentary Programming Peer Group, in recognition of the different genres of programming and production process for each group. Prior to this action, both reality and documentary television professionals formed the membership of the Nonfiction Programming Peer Group. Continuing as Governors for the renamed Documentary Programming Peer Group are Mark Samels and Dan Birman.
More information on each of the newly announced Governors is below:
Tomlin shot to fame on the television series, Laugh-In, in 1969, with her characterizations of Ernestine, the irascible telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish six year old in the big rocking chair.
Following her early success on television, Tomlin made her Broadway debut in the 1977 play, Appearing Nitely, written and directed by Jane Wagner. Appearing Nitely introduced audiences to new iconic characters, such as Judith Beasley, the Calumet City housewife, Trudy the bag lady, and Sister Boogie Woman, a 77-year-old blues revivalist. Tomlin next appeared on Broadway in 1985 in a yearlong, SRO run of Jane Wagner’s critically acclaimed play, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. Tomlin has received two Tonys for her Broadway performances in Appearing Nitely (1977) and The Search (1985).
In the 70’s, Tomlin produced and starred in four Grammy-nominated comedy albums–This is a Recording, Modern Scream, And That’s the Truth, and On Stage, winning the Grammy for This is a Recording. Tomlin has also co-produced and starred in eight award-winning comedy television specials. She has been seen in several television series, including Murphy Brown, Homicide, The West Wing, Will & Grace, The X Files, Desperate Housewives, Damages, NCIS, and Eastbound and Down. Tomlin also stars as Ms. Frizzle in the animated series, The Magic School Bus, and has starred in three animated specials based on her character, Edith Ann. This year, Tomlin will co-star with Reba McEntire on the new ABC series, Malibu Country, and is currently seen on Showtime’s series, Web Therapy, as Lisa Kudrow’s narcissistic mother.
Her 1975 film debut in Robert Altman’s Nashville was nominated for an Oscar, and the NY Film Critics voted Tomlin Best Supporting Actress. Since then, she has starred in more than 20 films, including The Incredible Shrinking Woman, 9 to 5, All of Me, Big Business, Tea with Mussolini, I Heart Huckabee’s, A Prairie Home Companion and Admission, which will be released in 2013. For her extensive work in film, Tomlin has received the Crystal Award from Women in Film and she has also received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2003. Tomlin has been awarded two Peabodys, a WGA Award, and six Emmy® Awards.
Tomlin continues to appear around the country in concert performances, and has recently entered the social media arena with a new, educational game app based on one of her most beloved characters, Edith Ann. Tomlin can be found on the popular website for women, http://www.WOWOWOW.com, where she participates with other celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Candice Bergen, Liz Smith, Jane Wagner, Peggy Noonan, Marlo Thomas and Lesley Stahl to create an on-line community which is owned and run by women for women of all ages and origins.
Widely credited with inventing the modern reality television genre, Jonathan Murray continues to inspire, influence and entertain television audiences worldwide. Since the launch of The Real World (MTV) in 1992, Murray has created and executive produced some of the industry’s most innovative, unscripted, entertainment television programs.
Murray began his career in local television, spending six years at WLUK-TV, WXIA-TV and WKYC-TV in news, documentaries, station management (WOKR-TV) and programming.
In 1991, Murray and Mary Ellis Bunim pitched their unprecedented idea for an unscripted drama series to MTV executives over breakfast. MTV bought the show before lunchtime, and the landmark success of Bunim/Murray Productions was underway. The innovative series merged Bunim’s experience in scripted daytime dramas with Murray’s documentary and news expertise and it broke all the rules of television production. The Real World quickly became part of the cultural DNA of young people the world over and continues to thrive, with its 27th season debuting on MTV June 2012.
Murray and Bunim grew their production operation from a two-person shop into an industry powerhouse. They created and executive produced an incredible array of entertainment including such seminal television shows as The Real World, Road Rules, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, The Simple Life, Starting Over, Making the Band and Love Cruise, as well as the feature film The Real Cancun. Despite the loss of Bunim to cancer in early in 2004, Murray continues to lead the company they founded together to new heights.
In 2010, Bunim/Murray Productions was purchased by Banijay Entertainment, providing the company with access to international formats and distribution of its series and formats to the international marketplace.
As chairman of Bunim/Murray Productions, Murray guides the creative process that has distinguished the company’s shows since the early 1990s. In 2007, the company launched BMP Films which sold its first critically acclaimed documentary, Autism: The Musical, to HBO. In 2008, the company announced the formation of M Music, a music management division, with its first band, A Cursive Memory, signing with Vagrant Records.
Bunim/Murray Productions continues to thrive, producing projects for primetime and cable television platforms including the twenty-seventh season of The Real World and the twenty-third season of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge (MTV); Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloe and Lamar, Mrs. Eastwood & Company (E!); Bad Girls Club and Love Games, Best Ink (Oxygen); Project Runway and Project Runway: All Stars (Lifetime);and Saddle Ranch (VH1). Additionally, their film entity, BMP Films, has produced Pedro (MTV), Shadow Billionaire, and Autism: The Musical (HBO) that received two Emmy® Awards.
In 2005 Murray earned his first Emmy Award for Starting Over (Syndication) and in 2009, his second for Autism: The Musical (HBO). In 2012, Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
David McKillop was appointed Executive Vice President, Programming, for A&E & BIO Channel in April 2011. In this role, McKillop oversees the network’s Scripted and Non-Fiction programming teams, and is responsible for the development, creation and execution of all programming for A&E and BIO Channel. He is also charged with imaginatively integrating new programming with on-line initiatives, and developing new ways to expand the brand across multiple platforms. He reports directly to Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E & BIO Channel.
During his transition to A&E, McKillop played an integral part in developing Storage Wars, now A&E’s highest rated original series in network history. Previously, David was Senior Vice President, Development and Programming at History. Under his tutelage, History experienced its best ratings performances ever as he launched the network’s top 10 series and top six specials of all time. 2010 was History’s best year ever, and for the first time in its history the network ranks in the top 5 among all four of its key demos out of all ad-supported cable networks.
McKillop also served as the executive producer of History’s top series including, Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, American Pickers, Ax Men and Top Gear. He was also an executive producer of numerous acclaimed and top-rated HISTORY specials including the Emmy® Award winners Gettysburg and 102 Minutes that Changed America.
Prior to History, McKillop served as the vice president, Factual Programming Discovery Networks U.S. Production. McKillop was responsible for strategic planning, management and execution of factual program production across Discovery Communications, Inc.’s U.S. networks. Under his leadership, Discovery’s flagship network, Discovery Channel, earned critical and ratings success for the original series Futureweapons, Man vs. Will” and Stunt Junkies.
Previously, McKillop was the vice president of production for Discovery Channel. In that role, he was responsible for the management of the production team, budgets and the creative process. In addition, he supervised many of the network’s top specials and series including Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters.
During his tenure at Discovery Channel, McKillop served as senior executive producer, working with the programming and development groups to create many of Discovery Channel’s groundbreaking programming projects including Deadliest Catch and Monster Garage.
Earlier in his career, McKillop ran his own production company, Big Rock Productions, based in Washington, D.C. During that time, he produced several projects for Discovery Networks, among them the Emmy® Award nominated Discover Magazine, and the ratings blockbuster special The Future is Wild. Prior to that, he served in various production positions at National Geographic Television and its Explorer Series and National Geographic Specials.