In 2009, the Emmy Award-winning drama series 24 became the first ever television production to go completely carbon neutral. The production team pioneered a set of innovative sustainability measures that have since become common practice in the industry, prompting a featured story in The New York Times. Dana Walden, Co-Chairman/CEO of the Fox Television Group, told the Times that she hoped the result would be "a more gratifying viewing experience, even if it is at a more subconscious level." This year, the show returned as the 24: Live Another Day event series, and the team at Twentieth Century Fox Television seized the opportunity to continue the groundbreaking green production work they had begun five years before.
However, the new season of 24 presented a new set of sustainability challenges. While past seasons had been filmed in Los Angeles, the series would now be shot on location in London at a vacant Gillette razor factory built in 1937, preventing the team from taking advantage of the green production programs already in place on the Fox Studios Lot. Yet, this change allowed them to expand the scope of the project beyond carbon emissions tracking to include waste management, responsible set design, and sustainable food purchasing.
Each department was able to integrate sustainability into its daily operations. Sets were constructed using 100% FSC-certified lumber and were either recycled or sold to other productions after filming wrapped. In addition, the team was able to divert 98% of the production's waste from landfill by replacing plastic water bottles with refillable bottles, donating all leftover food and drinks to local charities, and recycling or donating leftover props and costumes. Efforts to minimize air travel and replace generators with grid power tie-ins also helped decrease the production's carbon footprint.
24: Live Another Day will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the US on Tuesday, September 30. For a preview of a behind the scenes look at Green Production, which will be included on the DVD and Blu-Ray, watch the video above. Click here to read the full case study on 24's green production.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 27th, FOX Broadcasting will present Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular, a two-hour special from executive producer Michael Levitt and two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank. The special will raise awareness for dog shelters and rescue groups around the U.S. and will feature appearances from top Hollywood talent. Viewers will also receive information regarding adoptable animals in their local communities. Swank and Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch are set to co-host.
FOX's Cause for Paws will include awards and celebrity presentations showcasing a variety of canine categories, including Cutest Puppy, Best Celebrity/Dog Lookalike, Funniest Dog, Most Talented Dog, Best Talking Dog and Best Viral Dog Video. Celebrities also will introduce the audience to rescue dogs, giving viewers the opportunity to foster or adopt a new pet. Kristin Chenoweth, Whitney Cummings, Max Greenfield, Kathy Griffin, Julianne Hough, Randy Jackson, Cesar Millan, Jerry O'Connell, Kelly Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, P!nk, Amber Riley, Rebecca Romijn, Emmy Rossum, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Paula Abdul, Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Fergie, Carrie Ann Inaba, Scarlett Johansson, Kesha, Miranda Lambert, LeAnn Rimes, and Betty White are all scheduled to appear.
"Every year more than four million animals are euthanized because of overcrowding in shelters," said Swank. "We are so fortunate to have an animal advocate in the FOX network that not only sees the need for more awareness surrounding this issue, but is willing to set aside a two-hour block for this important cause. This partnership will change the path of a soul for thousands of animals looking for their forever home."
PEDIGREE Food for Dogs will be presenting the "Shelter Hero of the Year" award to honor an individual who has dedicated his/her life to caring for rescue dogs. In addition, viewers will have the opportunity to make donations to the Petfinder Foundation, an independent nonprofit that supports animal shelters nationwide. Since 2003, the organization has given more than $20 million to shelters and rescue groups in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Each year, the HUMANITAS Prize is awarded to film and television writers whose projects explore the human experience in a way that both entertains and enlightens, and this year, eight Fox writers are among the thirty-one finalists across eight categories. Of the twenty film and television productions nominated in the content categories, six were produced and/or distributed by Fox. The winners will be announced at a luncheon on January 16 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, an event that also marks the 40th anniversary of the HUMANITAS Prize.
The Fox writers nominated this year include John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave, Misan Sagay for Belle, Elaine Ko for Modern Family, Alex Gansa & Meredith Stiehm for Homeland, Carter Bays & Craig Thomas for How I Met Your Mother, and Veena Sud for The Killing. Previous Fox winners include Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, Ryan Murphy for Glee, David Shore for House, and Steve Levitan for Modern Family.
"Every year, I am amazed by the talent of the HUMANITAS finalists," said Executive Director Cathleen Young. "They make me laugh and cry. They show me my world and help me understand my place in it. They explore the kinds of demons most of us have felt as well as the comforts and joys that make life worth living. They show me what is possible and they do it with words. Always with words. Words that move us all forward into a more fully examined life."
Twentieth Century Fox Television is also a key partner in HUMANITAS's New Voices program, the purpose of which is to discover and empower the careers of talented emerging writers who have a fresh voice and a unique worldview. Each year, TCFTV and other studios grant four $25,000 grants to these emerging writers, who then write a pilot script under the supervision of a HUMANITAS trustee/Showrunner.
Since 1974, the Humanitas Prize has awarded over $3 million to more than 320 film and television writers. Consult the press release for more information on the Humanitas Prize, including the full list of this year's finalists.
Fox Audience Strategy, which promotes diverse voices across 21st Century Fox's entertainment businesses, served as the presenting sponsor of the 5th annual WISE Los Angeles Women of Inspiration Awards on Thursday, November 20. Women in Sports and Events (WISE) is a leading professional resource for women in the sports business.
Fox Audience Strategy's relationship with WISE Los Angeles began last year, when the two organizations partnered to help provide opportunities to women in sports production and broadcasting, traditionally male-dominated fields. The Women of Inspiration Awards are an important method of recognizing women's leadership in the sports industry, and the event is a key component of Fox Audience Strategy's partnership with WISE Los Angeles.
"On behalf of the 21st Century Fox entertainment businesses, FOX Audience Strategy is thrilled to continue its partnership with WISE Los Angeles," said Nicole Bernard, Executive Vice President, FOX Audience Strategy. "The mission of WISE aligns with FOX Audience Strategy's objectives to enhance a diversified workforce and support women's career growth in our sports and entertainment industries. We look forward to another wonderful evening honoring women making a difference in the sports world."
This year, WISE Los Angeles will honor Kristin Bachochin Klein, SVP, AEG Sports & Executive Director, Amgen Tour of California; Ronit Larone, Senior Coordinating Producer, Studio Production, NFL Network; and Janet Marie Smith, SVP, Planning & Development, Los Angeles Dodgers. Lindsay Amstutz, Vice President of Marketing for FOX Sports, was honored at last year's ceremony.
"Our annual gala is not only a chance for us to honor these industry leaders who have excelled at fulfilling their professional goals and influencing others in the industry," said Shelley Taniguchi, WISE Los Angeles President. "But also to bring together professionals that share the goals and mission of WISE of enhancing the success and growth of women in the sports and events industry."
For more information on the Women of Inspiration Awards, including bios on this year's honorees, visit WISELosAngeles.com.
The Ghetto Film School is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and inspiring the next generation of storytellers, and 21st Century Fox played a key role in launching the GFS in Los Angeles earlier this year. GFS LA recently released this promo video providing an overview of the school and its many exciting projects.
Since the launch of its first season in May 2012, Satyamev Jayate, or "Truth Alone Prevails," has become a centerpiece of the national conversation in India. STAR TV's groundbreaking social awareness series features Bollywood star Aamir Khan in conversation with experts, victims, and activists, discussing some of the country's most pressing issues. These conversations, streamed digitally and broadcast on multiple STAR channels in six local languages, have affected political action and have inspired countless individuals throughout India to come forward and share their stories. SMJ created a movement, and reporter Zachary Pincus-Roth covered that movement in a recent issue of LA Weekly.
"In LA, lots of TV creator do charity work, but it's usually separate from their day jobs," Pincus-Roth writes. "In India, many in TV feel an obligation to make the medium itself a force for social justice." Satyamev Jayate and other progressive STAR programs are cases in point for how the media can have a meaningful social impact. Local governments across India have passed new laws as a direct result of SMJ episodes, and STAR shows that feature strong female characters, such as Diya Aur Baati Hum, are working to alter the dominant perception of women as subservient. "We needed to become the mouthpiece for people's aspirations and whatever people didn't like, whatever people thought needed to change," said Uday Shankar, CEO of STAR India.
Shankar also spoke about STAR's ability to deliver social value through its content at an event at the Paley Center for Media earlier this year. "There's a certain amount of premium that society places on media businesses," he said. "I've always--and my bosses have always encouraged me--to challenge the status quo... Our job is to question, to focus the spotlight on what we feel needs to be observed more closely."
While many of STAR's shows address issues like women's rights and the caste system through fiction, SMJ confronts them head on. Aamir Khan was already one of Bollywood's biggest stars when he began working with Shankar to create SMJ. Traditionally, if Bollywood stars of his caliber made the move to television, they would host lighter fare such as a game show or a dance series. Khan, however, was more interested in dealing with the country's serious issues.
Khan and Shankar now admit that while they were enthusiastic about the series, they understood what a risk it was. "The traditional understanding of entertainment did not capture that kind of program" Shankar said. "It made you introspective, and when you look in the mirror [after watching the show], you will feel guilty. It didn't leave you laughing or on an emotional high."
Even still, their risk paid off. STAR estimates that approximately 517 million people--nearly 41 percent of the country--saw the show during its first season, and viewers have translated these ratings into action. After only one month in office, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Khan to discuss the issues raised on the show. The chief minister of Rajasthan created a fast-track court to prosecute doctors who commit female feticide. Health ministers in Maharashtra cracked down on illegal abortions. The nonprofit Snehalaya founded a shelter for women and girls and named it Satyamev Jayate Bhavan in the show's honor. The series has inspired people everywhere to take action in their communities and try to make a difference.
Satyamev Jayate wrapped its third season last weekend, and all of its episodes are available to stream with English subtitles at SatyamevJayate.in. To reach Zachary Pincus-Roth's full cover story "Can TV Save India?" visit LAWeekly.com.