International Emmys to honour TV producer Shonda Rhimes

TV producer Shonda Rhimes didn’t get the president she wanted in the recent US election, but she’ll be receiving a special honour from the president she created at the International Emmy Awards Gala.

Scandal star Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant in the ABC TV drama, will be presenting the honorary International Emmy Founders Award to Shonda at the Hilton New York on Monday night.

Shonda took time out from her television productions to help produce the short video biopic shown at the Democratic National Convention in July right before Hillary Clinton took the stage to accept the party’s presidential nomination.

Bruce L Paisner, president and chief executive of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said Shonda is a worthy recipient of the award because she “has truly made a global impact on television”.

Besides Scandal, she is also the writer, executive producer and creator of such hit series as Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder.

“Shonda Rhimes is in a league of her own – not only does she have an entire night of prime-time on ABC in the United States, but her ground-breaking shows and iconic characters are avidly followed by over 300 million viewers worldwide, in 67 languages,” Bruce said.

“And she repeatedly keeps surprising the industry and her audiences, with her new shows and story lines.”

The presentation to Shonda will be the centrepiece of the International Emmy Awards Gala, in which 40 nominees from 15 countries will be competing in 10 categories. The awards show, hosted by The Good Wife star Alan Cumming, honours excellence in television programming outside the US.

Brazil has a leading seven nominations, followed by Britain with six.

Oscar-winners Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench were nominated in the acting categories for their roles in the BBC One film Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, based on the children’s novel about a lonely ageing bachelor who tries to woo the widow in the flat below, who is overly fond of her pet tortoise.

The other British nominees are Hoff The Record (comedy), My Son The Jihadi (documentary), Gogglebox (non-scripted entertainment), and Capital (TV movie/miniseries).

Bruce said the competition for best drama series includes two countries represented for the first time in this category: the United Arab Emirates for Waiting For Jasmin and Canada for 19-2.

The honorary International Emmy Directorate Award will be presented to Maria Rorbye Ronn, chief executive and director general of the Danish Broadcasting Corp.

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