Television Academy Announces New Chair's Appointees to its Executive Committee
Chairman John Shaffner taps industry vets Bloodworth-Thomason, Cheng, Martinez and Shelton for key leadership roles.
North Hollywood, CA, April 15, 2010– Television Academy Chairman and CEO John Shaffner announced that he has appointed writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, digital media executive Albert Cheng, actor Benito Martinez and director Millicent Shelton to serve on the Academy’s Executive Committee. They will join current Executive Committee Chair’s appointees Dick Askin and John Landgraf.
“Linda, Albert, Benito and Millicent are each extremely creative and hardworking individuals who I have no doubt will bring a thoughtful and smart perspective to the Executive Committee,” said John Shaffner. “It is a great privilege to serve the Television Academy alongside such a distinguished group of professionals.”
More information on the new appointees is below:
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is the creator/writer of Designing Women and Evening Shade, two of CBS Television's most successful comedy series. She also served as executive producer, along with her husband Harry Thomason, on three other series, Hearts Afire, Women of the House and Emeril. She wrote episodes for Paper Moon, Rhoda, and the original pilot for the series One Day at a Time. She also wrote the variety special The Shape of Things. Linda wrote five episodes of the series M*A*S*H and was nominated for an Emmy for two of her scripts. In 1975 she was honored by Ladies Home Journal as Woman of the Year for Outstanding Writing in Comedy. She joined Columbia Pictures Television in 1977 as an independent producer and was producer/creator/writer on the series Filthy Rich. Linda was also co-producer with Harry Thomason on the pilots Dribble and London and Davis in New York and the series Lime Street. Bloodworth-Thomason has received many awards, including numerous Emmy and Writers Guild nominations. In 1990, Ladies Home Journal named Bloodworth-Thomason one of America's Fifty Most Powerful Women. In July of 1992, Bloodworth-Thomason produced the acclaimed documentary, The Man From Hope, which introduced Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in New York. In 1993, the Thomasons served as co-chairs of the Presidential Inauguration. In 1996, she directed and produced A Place Called America, which introduced President Clinton at the 1996 Democratic National Convention.
As executive vice president, digital media, for the Disney/ABC Television Group, Albert Cheng is charged with general management and strategic oversight of digital media for the Group’s diverse portfolio of broadcast and cable networks, including ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Daytime, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD and SOAPnet. He leads a team that oversees product development, marketing and operations for the Group’s digital media content platforms, including video-on-demand, broadband, web-based and mobile platforms, as well as interactive television technologies. Additionally, he is responsible for creating new business ventures and partnerships in the digital media and online space, as well as providing additional negotiation planning and support for ABC broadcast affiliate relations in the area of emerging technologies. Cheng works closely with Disney and ESPN Networks affiliate sales and marketing to ensure the distribution and development of digital media services to cable, satellite, telcos and wireless providers. He also works in close partnership with the Disney-ABC Television Group’s marketing teams and the Media Networks’ strategy group, as well as other divisions within the Walt Disney Company developing these content platforms and consumer products.
Millicent Shelton is a versatile award-winning writer/director in the film and music video worlds. In a very short time, she has also established herself as a noteworthy director in Television having directed the hit NBC Comedy, 30 Rock, and the TNT dramedy starring Ray Romano, Men of A Certain Age. A trailblazer, Shelton was recently the first African American Female nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series. She was also the first recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for an episode of The Bernie Mac Show. Shelton made her feature film directorial debut with Miramax’s Ride, a hip-hop road comedy. The film, based on Shelton’s original screenplay, is an energetic comedy that chronicles the adventures of a group of Harlem youths traveling on a bus from New York to Miami to play extras in a music video in hopes of breaking into the music business. In the music video arena, Shelton is known as a highly creative director. Her credits include producing and directing over 100 music videos for such artists as Salt-N-Pepa, Aaliyah, R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige.
Actor Benito Martinez received international attention for his performance as David Aceveda on the Primetime Emmy-winning FX drama The Shield. He was nominated for many acting accolades for the role and was recognized by the National Council of La Raza, winning the 2007 ALMA Award for best supporting actor. He was also recognized by the Nosotros Foundation, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. Martinez studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art after attending Hollywood High Performing Arts Magnet in Los Angeles. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, he began performing as a child, when he played the vihuela in the Mariachi Del Norte de Bennie Martinez, his father’s mariachi group. He also performed with La Compania de Teatro de Albuquerque, a bilingual theater company co-founded by his mother, Margarita Martinez. Martinez’s film credits include The Dry Land, Million Dollar Baby, Saw, End Game, New Suit, Kill Your Darlings, Mi Familia, Not Forgotten and Unthinkable. His other television appearances include Shark, NYPD Blue, Monk, Bones, Numb3rs, Lie to Me and 24, with recurring roles on Saving Grace and The Unit.