Awards/Successes

Leonardo DiCaprio "Before the Flood"

21st Century Fox businesses have received a total of four nominations from the Environmental Media Association, whose awards honor film and television productions that increase public awareness of environmental issues and inspire personal action to correct them.

21CF’s National Geographic earned two nominations in the Documentary Film category for From the Ashes and Before the Flood. From the Ashes, produced with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, takes on compelling stories to explore the reality of coal’s role in climate change, as well as human health and the economy, while offering solutions that could help revive struggling mining towns and protect the environment. Before the Flood follows Leonardo DiCaprio across five continents as he explores the effect of climate change on local communities around the world, as well as the political and social forces standing in the way of possible solutions.

Nat Geo focused on getting the film’s important message seen as widely as possible. In addition to broadcasting the documentary in 171 countries and holding screening events at the White House with President Obama and at the UN with Secretary John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, Nat Geo made Before the Flood freely available across a record-breaking number of linear, digital, and social platforms. Nat Geo also hosted free screenings that doubled as voter registration drives across 50 college campuses in the months leading up to the US presidential election. With more than 60 million viewers worldwide, Before the Flood is the most watched Nat Geo film ever, and one of the most watched documentaries in history.

Nat Geo also won a third nomination in the Reality Television category for Years of Living Dangerously’s “Collapse of the Oceans.” The documentary TV series features respected journalists and celebrities who travel around the world interviewing people affected by, and offering solutions to, the impacts of climate change. At the premiere of the second season of the series, held at the American Museum of Natural History for more than 800 guests, National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe remarked, "Truly great storytelling connects with audiences profoundly. This is especially true when it explores themes that transcend our differences and reflect universal values, like the human connection to the planet. And on the important topic of climate change, National Geographic, given its reach and reputation, is in the unique and enviable position to tell stories with real potential to make a difference in the world.”

FOX’s The Simpsons also received a nomination in the TV Comedy category. The animated series, which will soon start its record-breaking 29th season, has won eight previous EMA awards including last year for its episode “Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdle.” A prize this year would mark the third consecutive win for the show.

"This year's remarkable slate of nominees is a testament to the continued dedication and commitment that the entertainment community has on the environmental issues we are facing," said EMA President and CEO Debbie Levin. "The EMA Awards will not only further amplify the voices and messages of each of these programs and films, but also inspire a new generation of activists in the film, television and new media community to produce environmental content; it is through these channels where storytelling has the power to educate and ignite change."

Over 70 Fox film and television projects have also received an EMA Green Seal, which recognizes progress and leadership in sustainable production.

The 2017 annual Environmental Media Association Awards Ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on September 23, and will be hosted by Jaden Smith, an EMA member.


Fox Writers Lab Finalists

Photo by Saman Assefi Photography

Fox Inclusion recently announced writer Keely MacDonald has received a script development deal from Fox Broadcasting Company after being named this year’s Fox Writers Lab Fellow. She joined Fox as a research intern on Sleepy Hollow in 2012, and eventually earned the opportunity to write the episode “Insatiable” in season 4.

MacDonald was chosen from a group of 13 experienced finalists  at the Fox Writers Lab, a 14-week program hosted by Fox Inclusion that gives its finalists direct access to Fox writers, directors, and executives to further their screenwriting skills on the Fox Lot in Los Angeles. The Writers Lab is one of several programs at 21st Century Fox created to empower new storytellers and strengthen the pipeline of diverse talent in the industry. At the conclusion of the program, now in its sixth consecutive year, one fellow is named as the Fox Writers Lab fellow and awarded a purchase and development deal on their original script, or a first-look deal with 21CF-affiliated entities.

This year’s Writers Lab cohort participated in “Pitchfest”, where they presented their own unique ideas to network and studio executives. The content consisted of either an original comedy or drama pilot script completed under the leadership of producer Sheila Hanahan-Taylor of Practical Pictures and Kelly Kulchak, head of Current Programming at DreamWorks Animation.

The 2017 Fox Writers Lab Finalists, along with MacDonald, included: Arielle Diaz, Brad Marques, Elizabeth Oyebode, Erick Castrillon, Esteban Arango, Jennifer Graham Imada, Lauren Tyler, Mellori Velasquez, Nicky Young, Pilar Valdes, Tania Lotia and Yasemin Yilmaz. These experienced writers were chosen from nominations submitted by arts organizations, showrunners and talent representation from across the country, and will be promoted throughout the Fox creative family for staffing on current and future film and TV productions.

“Fox Writers Lab has become an increasingly crucial component of our staffing process. There are so many talented writers, with so many different points of view. Those diverse viewpoints help make our programming smarter, stronger and, ultimately, more reflective of Fox’s viewership,” said Terence Carter, EVP of Drama Programming, Development and Event Series at Fox.

Keely MacDonald - Fox Writers Lab Fello


National Geographic, Gender Revolution

National Geographic was named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist in Explanatory Reporting for its groundbreaking “Gender” magazine issue and the accompanying digital and video work. The Pulitzer Prize Board explained that National Geographic was named a finalist in this category “For a deep and sensitive exploration of gender worldwide, using remarkable photography, moving video and clear writing to illuminate a subject that is at once familiar and misunderstood.”

National Geographic Partners CEO Declan Moore congratulated National Geographic magazine Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg and the editorial staff for the accomplishment in an internal memo yesterday: “The Pulitzer Prizes honor the very best in journalism and the arts, and there is certainly no tougher competition, nor higher achievement, in the industry. To be named a finalist is a tremendous accomplishment and reflects the outstanding work and collaboration of the editorial staff. It is also a testament to Susan’s fearless leadership and her dedication to thoughtful, courageous storytelling that is taking National Geographic from reverence to relevance.”

This marked the first time National Geographic was able to submit for all Pulitzer Prize categories.


John Landgraf, Diversity Awards

FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf was honored with the Corporate Leadership Award at the T. Howard Foundation’s 24th Annual Diversity Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 29, in New York. The fundraising event recognizes and celebrates industry leaders and companies committed to diversifying the media and entertainment industry. John was presented to the evening’s attendees by Emmy Award-winning actor Courteney B. Vance, who played the role of Johnnie Cochran in FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

During his remarks, John recounted how 18 months ago, FX found that 88 percent of its original-series directors were white men, which was incongruous with the fact that white men make up just 36 percent of the U.S. population.

“We decided to take concrete steps to radically and quickly increase the participation of underrepresented groups with the ranks of our directors,” John said. “And our guess was that doing so would improve the overall quality of our work. We were right.”

During the past year-and-a-half, FX has boosted the percentage of non-white-male directors from 12 percent to 57 percent. “After making this change, the overall quality of our episodes has gotten better, resulting in the FX networks breaking nearly every record in the history of basic cable for programming success, awards recognition and critical acclaim.”

John also looked back at his life journey and noted the advantages he received by being born a white, heterosexual male, which presented him with a simple choice: “I can continue to take the path of least resistance, bestowing the benefits of my advantages primarily on others who naturally cross my path, who not-so coincidentally also often share my gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity… Or, I can actually try to live up to the as-yet unfulfilled promise given to all Americans by our founding fathers in our Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and I will add women) are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among them Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’”

He challenged businesses to look for “merit that lies beneath the surface of a person’s ethnic, sexual or gender identity.”

“I have been proud to work with my FX colleagues and our many producers who have embraced our efforts to open doors for people who have been standing at the back of the line for too long,” John said as he thanked FX Networks head of current programming Jonathan Frank and his team for recruiting and promoting diverse talent.

John also praised 21CF Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, 21CF CEO James Murdoch and FOX Networks Group Chairman and CEO Peter Rice for their dedication to making sure the organization comprises colleagues from all walks of life.

“Now that we have shown that real, rapid and permanent change is possible, we challenge all of our competitors to catch us if they can.”

The T. Howard Foundation’s mission is to increase the diversity in the media and entertainment industry through a comprehensive recruiting program for diverse college students. Learn more about the nonprofit.


Xploration Station, FOX

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has recognized four of the six series composing Xploration Station, the three-hour block of STEM programming for kids and teens airing weekend mornings on Fox TV Stations, with a total of seven nominations for the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. DIY Sci, Xploration Awesome Planet, Xploration Outer Space, and Weird But True were all nominated across a range of categories, including Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series for DIY Sci. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday, April 30, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.

“The response we’ve seen from Xploration Station has been absolutely tremendous,” said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions, which produces all six Xploration Station series. “We are proud to be putting smart, feel-good television on air that kids and families can enjoy. On behalf of everyone here at SRP, I’d like to thank all the talented people who work on these series, and our stations and partners for making this possible.”

The full list of nominations is as follows:

  • Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series: DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Travel and Adventure Program: Xploration Awesome Planet
  • Outstanding Host in a Lifestyle/Travel/Children’s or Family Viewing Program: Emily Calandrelli, Xploration Outer Space
  • Outstanding Writing in a Children’s, Pre-School Children’s or Family Viewing Program: Weird But True
  • Outstanding Single Camera Editing: Weird But True
  • Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing: DIY Sci
  • Outstanding Sound Editing – Live Action: DIY Sci

Since its premiere in 2014, Xploration Station has consistently received nominations at the Daytime Emmys. The block garnered five nominations in its first two years on the air, including Xploration Awesome Planet host Phillippe Cousteau, grandson of legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, for Outstanding Lifestyle/Travel/Children's Series Host in 2015.

The six series making up the Xploration Station block include Cousteau’s Xploration Awesome Planet, Harvard scholar Emily Calandrelli’s Xploration Outer Space, artist and futurist Chuck Pell’s Xploration Earth 2050, Youtube star Steve Spangler’s DIY Sci, marine biologist Danni Washington’s Nature Knows Best, and Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.

Fox TV Stations recently extended Xploration Station’s run through 2020. The entire block airs in more than 100 million homes nationwide on Saturday mornings and is available to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Yahoo View, and Roku.

Learn more about Xploration Station, including where it airs in your city.