Seven programs that have harnessed the power of television to inspire social change have been named recipients of the 12th Television Academy Honors. This year’s honorees are Alexa & Katie, A Million Little Things, I Am Evidence, My Last Days, Pose, Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story and RBG. They will be recognized at a special presentation and reception Thursday, May 30 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
The Television Academy Honors celebrates programs across platforms and genres that examine and portray complex issues and challenges facing our society with extraordinary impact. Honorees have explored and exposed these issues through remarkable storytelling that enlightens, educates and motivates audiences.
“As the television industry continues its unprecedented growth and global reach, it’s even more apparent that stories told on television are highly impactful and meaningful to their audiences,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma. “We are thrilled to be honoring showrunners and producers who are channeling the extraordinary influence of television to advance positive change in our communities.”
Howard Meltzer, CSA, Governor for the Academy’s Casting Peer Group, chaired this year’s Television Academy Honors selection committee, with Mitch Waldow serving as vice-chair. Honorees represent a diverse spectrum of important issues challenging our world, including women’s rights, childhood cancer, mental health, alcoholism, sexual abuse, race relations, gender discrimination and LGBTQ+ issues.
Here are the recipients of this year’s Television Academy Honors:
Alexa & Katie (Netflix)
This original series for kids features Alexa, a high school student diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Alexa and her best friend, Katie, navigate both the challenges of a serious illness and the pitfalls of high school through authentic stories of friendship, family, resilience and humor in the face of adversity. (Netflix)
A Million Little Things (ABC Studios/Kapital Entertainment)
This family drama follows friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success while others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. When one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s a wake-up call for the others to finally start living. The series’ poignant storytelling explores issues of mental health, alcoholism and sexual abuse. (ABC)
I Am Evidence (HBO Documentary Films and Mighty Entertainment in association with Fixit Productions and Artemis Rising Foundation)
This documentary exposes the alarming trend of rape cases that go unsolved through a poignant, character-driven narrative that reveals how a flawed system has historically mistreated sexual-assault survivors. It also brings awareness to the alarming number of untested rape kits in the United States and the disturbing pattern of how law enforcement has historically treated sexual-assault cases. (HBO)
My Last Days (Wayfarer Entertainment in association with SoulPancake)
This documentary series about living an extraordinary life, told from the perspectives of those who are dying, offers a unique way to find inspiration during even the most challenging of life’s tests. Episodes profile the compelling stories of courageous individuals, who remind us that having a limited amount of time doesn’t mean we can’t make a positive impact on the world. The series has changed lives around the world, raising millions of dollars for research and leading to new drug trials due to greater awareness of various diseases. (The CW)
Pose (Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions)
This drama series explores the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the ball-culture world, the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, and the downtown social and literary scene. Making television history, Pose features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ+ actors ever in a scripted series, as well as a host of LGBTQ+ individuals behind the camera. (FX)
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story (Cinemart)
This six-part original documentary series recounts the fatal encounter between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman and the subsequent trial that polarized the nation. These events sparked outrage and protests on both sides and shone a light on issues including race, politics, power, money, justice, crime and gun control in the United States, ultimately giving rise to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. (Paramount Network)
RBG (CNN Films and Storyville Films in association with Better Than Fiction Productions)
This documentary explores the incredible life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, including her extraordinary legal legacy as an advocate for women’s rights, civil rights and human rights. “RBG” takes viewers on Ginsburg’s unique personal journey, examines her litigation record of gender discrimination cases, and reveals her emergence as a pop culture icon and inspiration for generations of women. (CNN)