September 23, 2015 | Posted in:Social TV
This post was originally published on June 4, 2014.
Coming off my trip to Cannes celebrating what may be the best in film, I’m now thinking about what may be the best in television. The 2014 Daytime Emmy Awards is on June 20, and while I’ve only been nominated for an Emmy, I have several producer friends who have actually won one. The Emmys is television’s equivalent to the Grammys in music and the Oscars in film. Given by the New York–based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Los Angeles–based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, it recognizes great work in American daytime television programming.
For some producers, the Emmy win is not only a title change for them–now, their name is “Emmy Award-winning producer”–but also a lifelong dream come true. Longtime friend and fellow producer, Joyce Coleman-Sampson, is presently the supervising producer of daytime talk show The Bill Cunningham Show. In 2010, she became a daytime Emmy winner for her work on The Doctors.
Being nominated for an Emmy is one thing, but actually winning it is another. What did it feel like when your show ‘The Doctors’ won?
It was a very funny situation. Picture this: The producers and executives are sitting in their seats waiting for our category and the winner to be announced. When Alex Trebek announced that The Doctors was the winner, people started flying out of their seats. I was the last one to get up because I was in disbelief. After I got myself together, I ran towards the stage. Once there, I realized that I was the shortest one in the bunch and needed to find a spot front and center on the stage so that I could be seen. What an awesome experience! As I stood there, I just looked out into the audience at the sea of people. I remember telling myself to take it all in and process this moment. Take a good snapshot and brand it into your memory. After I did so, I then remembered it was time for me to give my hand signals to my family that promised I would do if I won. Fast forward to when I saw the playback of me on television, I looked like a crazy person jumping up and down. Winning the Emmy was like winning the Super Bowl or the Olympics, or even an Oscar.
Did you dream about winning an Emmy?
Yes, many moons ago. I eventually gave up thinking about it after so many years went by. I think everybody that works in television dreams of winning an Emmy one day. After X years in the business, I was finally nominated for an Emmy several times while working for the hit television show The Doctors. The show was nominated once before we finally won the ultimate prize for television in 2010.
What did it feel like when you got the news that you were nominated for an Emmy?
The first time, it was shocking and exciting! I was a bit numb. I was really blown away when The Tyra Banks Show beat us the first time around.
How long have you been in television?
I have been in television longer then I can remember. I have had an amazing career thus far, and the best is yet to come. I never intended on becoming a television producer turned television executive. I wanted to be a recording artist, but God had other plans. I was lucky to land my first television gig shortly after I graduated from William Paterson College. My first job was as a producer working for the largest cable company in the industry, Cablevision. It was there that I gained valuable experience as a producer, which eventually led me to become a systems executive producer/systems manager. After spending several years working in cable, I began to spread my wings and reach for the sky. I knocked on hundreds of doors before I made it to the major leagues.
Montel Williams gave me my big break into the syndicated world. I spent seven years with him as a producer. I left his show holding the title of senior producer. I have been blessed to work with all of the major talk shows. The only one I did not work for was The Oprah Winfrey Show. I really did not have any interest in working for her because her show was in Chicago, and that was a bit too cold. Silly me! I have worked on the East and West coasts. I’m currently working as the supervising producer for The Bill Cunningham Show.
Tell me about the excitement of getting ready to attend the ceremony on Emmy night and going to the event?
It was a feeling like, WOW! You have finally achieved the ultimate goal. I felt like Hollywood royalty. I could not believe it. Preparing for the Emmys is like getting things tight and right for your wedding. First, you starve yourself to death. Then, you look for the perfect dress that makes you look skinny and beautiful. You experiment with finding the right makeup and look for shoes that will not kill your feet all night. You play around with creating different hairstyles and, finally, get your manicure and pedicure done. Once that was all figured out, it was showtime.
How has winning the Emmy changed or enhanced your career?
Not sure yet. However, it has taught me to never give up on your dreams and that if you can believe, you can achieve whatever you want in life.
Where do you keep the Emmy statue ?
I keep it in a showcase in my living room
Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) 10 Skills That Make A TV Producer A Great Hire Or Partner For Business
Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.